Teaching yoga is not just going to the studio, standing on the podium in shorts and a sports bra, and telling people what to do for 90 minutes. Teaching, regardless of the subject, is a way to serve others and hopefully improve their lives in some way, whether it is a great improvement or a minute change. Teaching yoga is not only serving the physical body. To me, it is something much greater than that. While the physical body is definitely an important component, teaching yoga is a means of guiding other people on the path to Self discovery. The beautiful part about it is that it is an endless learning process. Every teacher is a student, and every student is a teacher.
My first yoga class was in June of 2009 at Bikram Yoga Buffalo (now evolation yoga). Immediately, yoga became a part of my life, and soon enough I had a regular practice and was on my way to becoming an evolation instructor. Since then, yoga has become not only a part of my life, but a way of living. With my practice becoming more focused, I knew that I had no choice but to learn how to be fully aware of my body and breath. My thoughts eventually started to tune out during class, leaving me only able to focus on what was really going on inside my mind and body. This is not always a pleasant experience, but it is always a positive one. This process has become part of my daily life, inside the yoga room and outside in the “real world,” even when my physical ailments prevent me from taking class. My hope is to one day use my experiences as a student and teacher to develop a class specifically geared towards people with extra physical challenges, carrying more of a restorative approach.
While eventually owning a studio would be great, I mostly want to move on to the next level in order to deepen my understanding of yoga and meditation practices. I feel that as a yoga instructor, it is important to absorb as much information and knowledge as possible from everyone and everything in my environment. The moment you think that there is nothing else to learn, everything completely loses value. Moving on to secondary trainings and expanding my knowledge and experiences will ultimately allow me to help other students understand their practice on a higher level. How do I get to the next level? Training, training, training, training! I plan on taking as many trainings as possible, including evolation’s Secondary Teacher Training and the upcoming Rainbow Kids Training this June. These are my next steps in this endless learning process. This is the way I stay a student while I am serving others through teaching.