Tuesday, December 15, 2020

two years as a teacher, what brought me here

Two years ago today I taught my first public yoga class. It was terrifying and thrilling all at once. And the last two years have been full of every spectrum of emotion, all the battles, all the victories, all the uncomfortable growth, and unforeseen struggles.

Becoming a yoga teacher was something that had been on my mind for a few years really. Yoga had done so much for me that it seemed the natural next step to share that goodness with others.

It was overwhelming and daunting when I thought about how I could possibly make it happen. To become a registered yoga teacher requires 200 hours of training. The nearest trainings to me required that I drive to Seattle every weekend for a year or some other schedule that was unfeasible to my life at the time. There are immersive trainings of 30 days in a specific locale (I was eyeballing Mexico and Hawaii) but they are pretty expensive. So I just sat on my dream, waiting till the timing was right.

Three years ago I was practicing regularly in my favorite small yoga studio and I asked my teacher if she would mind meeting with me so I could talk over some stuff with her. In that meeting I told her my desire to be a yoga teacher and did she have any advice or avenues or warnings for me.  She was blunt and honest with me from the get go. She asked my motives, asked what I hoped it would look like and told me her experience as a teacher. And she gave me encouragement, also suggesting a teacher friend of hers that was leading a training in Indonesia that summer. 

I poured over the brochure for the training, including a retreat to Bali afterward. I researched travel to Indonesia, noted how much it would cost to fly there on top of the cost for the training and just didn't see that I could make it happen. So I sat on my dream again, waiting till the timing was right.

Ten months after our meeting I learned that the very same teacher that had offered the training in Indonesia was holding a training at the studio that I practiced in! A training in my town! In the evenings! Over the course of three months! I'd never met this teacher but she came recommended and it didn't take long to decide that this was the time, this was my opportunity. And I had to jump because every fiber of my being said DO IT. So I did.

Exactly one year after that initial meeting I began yoga teacher training, a journey that catapulted me into a season of intense growth and change. Not to sound too corny but it was really the dawn of a new day. It gifted me the courage to make some necessary changes in my life and to rediscover my own potential.

Through training I met people outside of my normal circle that expanded my view of the world and life in general. I still consider my fellow trainees family. And my teacher...words just
cannot explain. Since that first day of training when I met her for the first time, she has inspired me, challenged me, and empowered me. I'm grateful to have had her in my corner as I traversed this thrilling journey.

My life is changed. Because yoga. Because courage. Because teacher training. Because freedom to be.

I spent a long time surrounded by people that needed me to be a certain way to maintain balance of a belief system. They made me believe that relationships were earned by submission. They enforced the idea that I was flawed and broken. And I was. I was broken and wary of myself and the whole world. Being brought low ensured my subjection to that broken system, a flawed culture.

Yoga didn't change my mind about all of that. My teachers didn't change my mind. No, it was the fire that was already inside me, the courage welling up in my very soul, the desire to once again be free. But as I made small changes, little by little unearthing my own strength and discovering that flame within, it snowballed into a full on run for freedom and liberation.

I graduated the training, taught my first public class and two weeks later started teaching regularly at that same studio where I was a student. Within a month I had a teaching job at a gym as well. That next summer I traveled to Indonesia with my teacher and helped in a teacher training, followed by a week in Bali. The timing was finally right.

That first year of teaching was magical. I built my teaching schedule up to nine classes per week. I helped in yet another teacher training. I completed some continuing education. I battled my own doubts and reveled in achievements.

The second year of teaching has not been super magical. The world shut down and trying to navigate through this new landscape has been a struggle. But still, the carrying on is the superhuman strength.

So, if you made it this far, thank you. For whatever way you may have had a part in this journey thank you. If you've been a student, know that it is for you that I persevere. If you've been my teacher, know that you've been instrumental in changing my life. If you've been a doubter, questioning my decisions, thank you for fueling my fire to change. If you're a silent supporter, thank you.

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