I have been practicing hot yoga for five years, but I never considered becoming a teacher until I visited the Evolation studio in Bogota, Colombia. It was open and inviting, there was room for analysis and creativity and embracing all of the different motivations that bring students to a yoga class. And so this idea–that I could be a teacher, share what I love about the practice, help people improve their lives–took root in my mind and wouldn’t let go. I started seeing every class as a lesson in teaching, as much as in exploring my personal practice.
am I ready for this?
As soon as I signed up for training, everything fell into place. I was granted leave from my job, and got a free car and place to stay. And then, just as quickly, things fell apart! In the month before leaving for training, I got so stressed about work that I couldn’t sleep and my neck was killing me, and then I had to get a root canal. This challenged my concept of what it meant to be a teacher. Aren’t teachers supposed to have it together? Am I ready for this? I’m pretty sure that if the doubt hadn’t come out at that moment, it would have come out in some other way.
In our first lecture today, we discussed how everyone in the classroom is both a teacher and a student. Yoga is a journey, and one that can only advance if people accept that they can always learn and grow in it, that they are never done. You never know what or who you’ll learn from and how it will change you and your practice. It is humbling. As a future teacher, I’m working on getting my mind around this and using it as a source of confidence as well.
a lesson in ego
Today, I practiced for the first time in three weeks and it was a true lesson in ego. There among my fellow future teachers, in low-altitude Santa Barbara (in contrast with high-altitude Bogota) and a pretty mild temperature, my legs were shaking and my mind was wandering. Again, another lesson in ego, another challenge to my ideals about what a teacher should be. Now it seems like I want to set some intentions for this training in front of all of you: I intend to be present in my body during class, especially during the doubles when I want to climb out the window. I intend to appreciate others for their strengths without comparing myself. I intend to listen actively and critically to what I learn. I intend to believe in myself, both in my ability to make the most of the next month and in my decision to follow my heart to this training.