I'm only two weeks into teaching and my head is spinning with new insight! First of all, teaching is SUCH a humbling experience. I am still dealing with the innate feeling that I need to be "perfect." That I need to create this amazing sequence & class that will leave everyone in tune with their breath, feeling heavenly in their body, and blissed out of their mind (leading to everyone becoming happier and more mindful human beings, which would then lead to healthier relationships, a closer community, a more compassionate world... It's serious business you see! Yoga can change the world!) :)
But I digress.
I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.
I have made this my mantra. No one else is expecting perfection, why should I? Teaching yoga, (or anything really) forces you to swallow your ego and open up to vulnerability. I know that I don't know everything, (google usually has my back) but I do want students to trust in my ability to guide them through asana, pranayama, meditation, the whole kit and caboodle knowing they are in good hands. Yoga is a personal experience, but people are paying a pretty penny to unroll their mat and take my class.
That's where my own pressure comes in and my rational thoughts go out. My mind says, "these people are taking 90 mins out of their busy schedule to unify their mind, body, and breath. And they are looking to me for a little bit of guidance."
So that's where my second insight comes in... it's not about you. No not you.... It is about YOU, it's not about ME. Yep, I'm there and doing most of the talking. I'm sequencing and enhancing and telling you where to put your leg and when to inhale and exhale, but really I'm just providing a safe space for you to practice and play on your mat. I've been lucky enough to immerse myself in the practice and learn incredible amounts from my training, but there is still SO much I have no idea about AND I'm clueless as to how you are interpreting what I am saying. You're probably in your own mind anyways about what you are going to make for dinner. ;) Again, yoga is a personal experience, it is about YOU.
Ok good, so remembering that takes a little bit of the pressure off. Which leads to a further insight... as long as I am there for the right reasons, and speaking from an authentic place, I can walk away from the studio and class at peace. I don't need applause (why do people do that in hot yoga?!) or students telling me class was amazeballs (although encouragement and constructive feedback is always appreciated). I will see it in your faces and feel it in your energy. On that note: SMILES are always accepted during practice. It lets me know you are still happy and you don't hate me. Please and Thanks.
My last insight (for this post) is that I have the most AMAZING and SUPPORTIVE community. As word spread of me teaching, I received an abundance of encouragement and felt a genuine warmth and excitement. My friends, colleagues, and teachers wanted to take my class more than I wanted them to take them (they have to wait until I am perfect of course! ;) ) So thank you for all the faith, confidence, support, feedback and optimism you provide for me. From the mainland to the islands, I feel your energy and compassion.
mahalo nui loa and namaste peeps. xo