Earlier this month, I started the first of three Yoga Teacher Training modules which will prepare and certify me as a yoga instructor. It’s an endeavour that’s eliciting excitement and apprehension; confidence and humility; growth and acceptance – a journey I’m grateful to be taking with 17 new friends and 3 very inspiring instructors.
My intro to yoga was 19 years ago. I had a high school PhysEd assignment where students had to provide the class with a demo of an ‘athletic’ skill which our peers would participate along with us. Of course I wanted to be different amidst a sea of volleyball, basketball, and dance skills, so I went to the public library and took out several books (sadly, this was before the internet was in every home!) so I could teach Sun Salutation. It was different and really well received! Right off the bat, not only was I interested in practicing yoga, but I clearly had the desire to teach others. I sought out my first class later that year (not easy to do at a time where group fitness was all cardio, Tae Bo was the craze at home, and yoga studios weren’t popping up like Starbucks), and I was hooked.
While I’ve practiced yoga throughout adulthood, I could have been more consistent. But people do this. We make excuses why we don’t have time to do the stuff we really want to be doing. The best thing I could do was recognize how great I felt when I was on my mat in the moment, and how balanced I felt when I was practicing regularly. I feel like yoga brings out the best version of me, and others notice that; when I’m connected to my breath, my body, my mind – MY SELF! – I’m able to connect better with people, and the world around me. Part of the reason I decided to move forward with my teacher training is that I want to intentionally feel more of those connections, and help others with that, too.
Taking the step from being a regular in class, to teaching, is hard work. While I’ve been a teacher in traditional classrooms, boardrooms, and other such spaces, this feels a bit different; a little intimidating (which I think would be shocking for anyone that knows me or has seen me take command of an audience), but I do my best to keep the self-confidence in check. I remind myself that teaching yoga is not about how flexible I am, how svelte I look in my leggings and tank, or how many inversions & headstands I can do in a practice. It’s about my ability to hold space and create an environment that allows people to feel safe in what they need to do. It’s about cultivating an environment and experience that others can find themselves, grow, or work whatever it is out that they need to at that given time.
As I continue to work through the next two modules of this program, I’m optimistic about all the possibilities that lie ahead; collaborating with my peers, diversifying client programs, creating unique and memorable experiences, and facilitating growth in myself & others. I’m sure there will be challenges ahead of me (and celebrations, too!) – I’ll be sure to keep everyone in the loop! – but I’m so proud of myself for taking this leap, and feeding that curiosity I had nearly two decades ago!
If you were to add a new skill to your resume, what would it be and why?
What’s preventing you from taking that leap?