A few years ago in class, yoga teacher Francesca Asumah of Hot8Yoga said, "once you practice long enough and feel called to share the work, you may look into teaching." As I lay in savasana, I thought to myself, "well, I really want to keep yoga as my practice without teaching it so I don't think that path is for me."
In the past, I always ended up teaching what I practiced (group fitness, kick boxing, spin, pole). Though enjoyable and fulfilling, time for my own practice seemed compromised. Since I loved yoga so much, I decided that I did not want to teach.
In the fall of 2015 one of my teachers Julia PT mentioned that she would be leading a teacher training and that we were welcome to take the training not necessarily to teach but to deepen our practice. The latter sounded better and after meditating on the option, I said, "Yes!"
In the fall of 2015, everyday I asked my guides to assist in aligning me with my highest path and life purpose. Therefore, before making choices I would meditate on, "is this choice aligned? Does it feel good, right?" If yes, I would go for it. If no, I would decline. This training seemed aligned so I signed up for the Hot8Yoga 200-Hr Power Teacher Training with Brit.
2016 was definitely one of continued transformation, personal evolution, endings, beginnings, shifting relationships, shadow work, and more. Yoga TT was a huge part of this. Another interesting occurrence was that I had a positive balance of $250+ on my Hot8 account at the announcement of the Yin fall TT with Rebekah. It was the perfect place to allocate the funds!
Teaching yoga was natural and fluid: teacher training graduation, mentorship, community classes, audition, regular classes. The system guides you step by step if that is part of your calling. Some people from our group decided to teach, others not right away.
Whenever I lead XPERT Pole & Aerial Teacher Trainings, I tell the group that we are all teachers and our journeys differ. Perhaps you pass the training course, take a few more months of pole classes and you're teaching. Perhaps you take the course and end up teaching years down the road after gaining more experience. Maybe you already teach and are deepening your skills with this training. Maybe you are retaking the course to refresh. Whatever the case, we are all here, and we are all teachers. We all start at a certain point and if meant to teach, we will. It will be natural.
Last Week's Experience
Last week was intense: schedule completely full and energetically slammed by what felt like a tornado - workshop, social events, wedding, birthday parties, business meetings, family developments, healing sessions, classes to teach (regular + subbing + first week at Stadium Fitness Yoga and Evolve Dance). As stand-alone events, I was thrilled for and looking forward to each one. However, together in a row with little to no breaks or space between, I could not fully embrace and enjoy each experience. By Saturday morning, my battery was nearing 0%, patience tattered, energy drained, body in pain, aura leaking, vessel clogged.
In 2015, I had to think of ways to free up my schedule. To start I refrained from pre-planning as much as possible (mainly social events).
However, last week when worn down, I broke my rule and felt the consequences. I compromised my own privacy, time, space, energy and value. Therefore, over the weekend I decided that I needed to clean, clear, recharge and practice some serious self-healing and recuperation.
The weekend was absolutely perfect: Hot8 Beach day volleyball and ocean swim with fun and joyful friends, meditation + Reiki Circle with beautiful and nurturing girlfriends, Mel's awesome 90s birthday party, sound bath with Kathy, and private Middle Pillar healing with Naha at HOI.
The results were tremendous!
From just a week's experience, I was closely reminded of these invaluable lessons:
- Carefully set and maintain boundaries (lines in the sand) with communication to respect your own time and value
- You cannot operate and function at your highest potential when worn down
- Practice what you preach. Oftentimes, we discuss with other yoga teachers that we do not have as much time to practice when we are teaching a lot. Change that. Make time.
- Regular time in nature (beach/mountains) is a must
- Cook your own food as often as you can
- Time in certain environments with certain people/energies can be equivalent to a solo spa day reset/recharge
- Be specific. Discern and refine. Make choices that serve you best. Your best self serves others.
Instructing vs. Teaching
I will use the specific terminology of instructing vs. teaching only to make a point and to distinguish between two far ends of the teaching spectrum: learned, memorized and regurgitated material versus shared deep, insightful wisdom and experience filtered through personal experience.
To me, "instructing" means passing a certification and reciting material per the manual.
To me "teaching" means sharing and expressing bits of knowledge, experience and wisdom plus weaving in that learned from ancient texts and trainings.
Takeaway & Finding Balance
In order to continue growing and evolving as a teacher, one must have the time and space to go deeper, to study, to experience, to deliver and to share.
Allowing the time and space to do so is vital~
Question for Thought from My Friend Eileen
Move deeper into the truth of what your soul is now. How does your soul want to express its light in human form?