Posts tagged: teacher
This is Why I Teach Yoga
I remember being told in teacher training, and on some random other occasions, that you have to be a real Type-A personality to want to be a yoga teacher; to dedicate 200 hours of your time within a 4 month span to doing nothing but yoga - learning, teaching and doing. Like pretty much any other time someone tries to tell me something about myself, I disagree. Maybe I’m more of a Type-A personality than I realize, but I want to share the reason that I decided to become a teacher, a facilitator of discovery, as mark van doren would say. I’m going to read to you an excerpt from “How Yoga Works” a book by Geshe Michael Roach & Christie McNally.
“And so I will tell you something now, something special; it is a little early to tell you, but if you follow it - follow it sincerely - you will be able to practice steadily. You will not skip your practice. And then it will work.’
He nodded. “Then tell me. I will try it.”
I nodded back. “In the book, the Master says again, “
‘And if you wish to stop these obstacles,
There is one, and only one,
Crucial practice for doing so. I.32’
“And what is that?” He asked. “
And the Master says,
‘You must use compassion. I.33B.”
The Captian turned and gazed out the window. “Compassion? What’s that supposed to mean? How would that stop me from skipping my practice?”
“It’s something you have to understand,” I said quietly. “It’s something important. You see, you can’t do this, you can’t do yoga, just to fix your own back. It’s too small. We are too small. If we do something just to help ourselves, it will never work. You can never really put effort into a thing if it’s only for yourself. It has to be for something bigger.”
“Bigger? Like what?”
“Look at the way a woman will work for her children - look at the work they can do, twenty-four hours a day, day in and day out, for ten, twenty years. It puts your little office work to shame. And they can do it for only one reason - because they are not doing it for themselves. They are doing it for others too.”
The Captain laughed. “So you want me to do my yoga for other people too? Are you telling me I won’t be able to fix my back unless I figure out how to fix a couple of other backs along the way?”
Something like that,” I said. “All you really have to do is think about helping some other people with what you learn. If I taught you all this yoga and suddenly your back got better and you were walking around with a big smile on your face all the time, would it do anything, say, for the Sergeant, or for that younger policeman?”
“For the corporal?” the Captain smiled. “I don’t know - it would take a lot to get him to do anything. He never has any energy; he never gets excited about anything…..But could yoga do anything for him? Do you think it could give him a little pep, a little interest in his life?”
“It does a lot of things,” I replied, “a lot of things you can hardly guess. But yes, certainly, it would change his life.” I paused myself, so he’d listen to what came next. “But you see, in a way, now that he knows you’ve started yoga, he’ll wait and see if it helps you. If it obviously does, then we could get him to fix himself. And so you see, if you have compassion - if you keep thinking that if you fix your back you might also be fixing the coproral - then when a day comes that you feel like skipping your practice, you won’t. Because you’d be hurting him, you see?”
I don’t just do yoga for myself anymore. I do it for all of you, and for everyone else, as well. I know the effect that it has had on my life, and all I want is to share that with everyone else. So, what things in your life could be more important, more helpful and relevant, if you practiced them with compassion? Your office job, making dinner for your family, or your own practice?
Well people, it’s (un)official: I’m a yoga teacher! I still have to turn in my final exam (yikes!), finish my assisting hours, and teach 2 public classes with my teacher there to watch me….but my training is done and I can teach my own classes now!
It’s insanity to think that it’s over already; it’s gone by so quickly. Gioconda Yoga teacher training is the reason that I moved to Austin in the first place. I considered just driving up here every other weekend from Fredericksburg, but I just so happened to lose my job literally A WEEK before I my training started, so I figured now was as good a time as any (thanks universe!).
I have no idea how long I’ll be in Austin, or what is next for me in pretty much any aspect of my life, but one thing is for certain: when I look back on the first 4 months I spent living in this city, my yoga teacher training is going to be SUCH a huge part of that experience. I am sooooo sosoososo grateful and honored to have gotten to share this with each one of the people in my class, and I’ll hold a special place in my little black heart for every one of them.