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.