- What does being a yoga teacher mean to me?
I enjoy looking at other advanced yoga practitioners’ aesthetically pleasing yoga photos. The harder the poses look, the more intrigued I get. I admire how effortless others looked in those pictures, and I appreciate them like a beautiful piece of artwork. However, on a bad day, these perfect images all of a sudden turn into discouragement. I don’t trust that my body can ever do those poses, and I question myself, “how could I be a good yoga teacher if I don’t master these advance postures?” The “I’m not good enough” beast appears, tears me apart, and throws me into the self-critic hole.
I’m tired of feeling this way, so I ask myself, “what does being a yoga teacher mean to me?” I wrote about why I became a yoga teacher in the past, which was about helping people feel good in their bodies. That is still the goal, but that doesn’t precisely answer what it means to me to be a yoga teacher. So, what is it? To me, being a yoga teacher says I’m here to support my students in their yoga journies, provide them a safe environment to connect with their bodies, and give them the freedom to explore themselves through their practice. What I can do or cannot do physically doesn’t make me a good or bad teacher. Being a yoga teacher is taking on the responsibility to teach from the heart and ensure that students feel accepted just the way they are. When I’m feeling inadequate as a yoga teacher because I can’t do something, I’m projecting myself onto my students and assuming that everyone wants the same thing I do. Now that I’m saying it out loud, I feel selfish thinking that way.
The fair approach is to allow the students to choose what they want in their yoga practice while accepting the reality that I’m not going to be the right instructor for everyone. I’ll continue to do my best and show what I feel is right in my teaching. Additionally, spending more time on my own practice and honoring my progress. Practicing yoga changed my life, and I’m becoming who I want to be because of yoga. Besides satisfying my ego, whether I can ever do a scorpion pose has nothing to do with my ability as a yoga teacher or self-worth. Remembering my why and adhering to my intentions helps me realign and reconnect. Living my truth and trusting myself is where the real power lies, and peace resides.
- My Cat Hustles.
Colonial is our beloved cat that is very passionate about food and could probably eat 24/7 if he had the option. Colonial pays close attention to what my husband and I are doing during the day. Every time we go into the kitchen, he follows. His ways of getting our attention include rolling on the kitchen floor to play cute, staring at us with his sad eyes, and meowing like he hasn’t eaten for days. The truth is, Colonial eats three full meals a day with 2 to 3 snack times in between. We follow a schedule to ensure that Colonial maintains a healthy weight, but we cave in once in a while because we can’t resist his charm. Colonial’s love for food is evident in his constant effort to show up every time we are in the kitchen (except when he’s sunbathing or napping). He demonstrates tenacity in his pursuit of passion. He hustles every chance he gets to satisfy his craving. If you love doing something or desire to follow a dream, think about Colonial. Show up consistently, be persistent, and don’t give up even when it feels impossible. 😉
- 10 ways to have a better conversation.
May 24, 2020 TED Talks Daily Podcast – Celeste Headlee (Listen here: 10 Ways To Have A Better Conversation)
In this short TED Talks series, radio host Celeste Headlee offered insight into how to have better conversations with others. This recording was originally from a few years ago and re-shared a few days ago by TED Talks Daily. The suggested 10 ways to have a better conversation were explained concisely with humor and provided a much-needed reminder that we all should listen more. I’ll admit that I’m a multitasker at times when someone is speaking to me. I don’t do it a lot, but this behavior exists and contradicts my preaching of being present. The worst part is it risks the trust I earned from the other person. I’m glad that I took the time to listen and reflect, and I hope you’ll find this podcast valuable as well.
- Promoting yourself as a yoga teacher with authenticity.
April 30, 2020 (Author: Barrie Risman. Read the article here.)
Yoga Journal recently published an article written by yoga teacher Barrie Risman about promoting yourself as a yoga teacher with authenticity and embracing marketing as an act of generosity and service. I’m not always comfortable with marketing and talking about myself, but this article shifted my mindset. The awakening moment was reading the author’s question to herself: “if no one knew me, how could I serve?” The author realizes that marketing her work is a way of sharing and serving, not self-aggrandizing. What I enjoyed the most is learning how the author found her unique voice as a yoga teacher, and the five exercises she shared for authentic and compelling promotions. I highly recommend all the new and experienced yoga teachers who feel insecure about promoting their services to read and reflect on these down-to-earth nuggets of wisdom.