As a yoga teacher, I try my best every day that I’m teaching a class, but some days it just doesn’t come together the way I want. I will totally admit that to my students, and sometimes even apologize. But the truth is, I’m human, and I have tough days and make mistakes all the time! Love this article about yoga teachers being human 🙂
Even though it may not seem like it. Maybe he or she can do a handstand on a fingertip, eats an impeccable plant-based diet, and emanates an effortless sense of peace, love and compassion for all sentient beings.
No matter how long we’ve been doing yoga, we all are subject to the frailties of our human-ness, our imperfections, our whims and woes. As a new yoga instructor, I strive to emulate the qualities of my most favorite instructors, the ones who not only guide me to my physical limit, introducing me to muscles I’ve never known my entire life, but also who are endlessly positive and make me feel great after class (despite having to do a million ab-thingys). The instructors whom I gravitate to most of all are the ones who don’t claim perfection and remind me that they’re human too.
Before I possibly become your new yoga instructor, there are several things that I think you should know about me:
1. My meditation is a work in progress. (I too squint my eye open sometimes to check how long I’ve been sitting – it’s only been four minutes! Ahhhh!) Unfortunately, I am not a reincarnated bodhisattva, guru or Jedi Master. Regardless, I know if I am able to find space to breathe in my mind and my body whether it’s for 20 seconds or 20 minutes, it still counts (a lot).
2. I love donuts, granted they are vegan donuts. Flaky/chewy/delectable baked goods get the best of me sometimes. Sugar happens. (See Example A.)
- Example A. A blueberry donut, which I devoured happily. Yes, it was vegan, and, yes, it was delicious.
3. I care how you are feeling before, during, and after class. I want you to enjoy being here. I want you to feel safe, grounded and secure on your mat and in your body (and not to mention have fun while you’re at it). I remember during one of my first yoga classes ever I was almost intimidated into going to class by the instructor. She was rigid and stern, but impressive. I respected her and wanted her to approve of me, so I’d push myself past my limit in every pose. I tried to make it look good, but it didn’t always feel good and I’d end up feeling less secure about myself than when I had arrived. That being said, yoga is for you, not me. Never feel obligated to do everything I say. They are only suggestions and sometimes child’s pose is the best option.
4. I’m still practicing. I can’t do all of the hard yoga moves. Handstand? Yeah, with the help of the lovely Tara Stiles clutching my thigh, on good days. (See Example B.)
Example B. Me attempting to do a cool yoga pose on a beautiful mountain, but falling on my bum in the process. Keepin’ it real.
5. I’m a little nervous about this whole teaching-yoga-thing, even if it doesn’t look like it. (Shhhhh…!) Despite having a pretty dedicated yoga practice, with this, I’m a beginner all over again. It’s a new place for me — maybe it is for you too.
Just because I have some fancy yoga certification doesn’t make me any more advanced than you. We’re all in the process of figuring ourselves out, getting our sh*t together, and finding the natural rhythm of our breath, and we both know that yoga helps us get there somehow. We mess up sometimes. We’re fallible. It’s the natural state of being. It’s really about how we pick ourselves up (out of a fallen inversion, way-too-long yoga-hiatus, or broken relationship) and keep breathing.
Peace, peas and all that good stuff,