I did not grow up wanting to be a yoga teacher. Lawyer, yes; doctor, maybe; journalist, hopefully…yoga teacher?, not so much. Aside from the fact that I didn’t know what yoga was until I was almost 20, if my first class was any indication, yoga and I did not mix.
During that memorable first experience with yoga, I sat in the back of the room with my then best friend laughing uncontrollably through most of the 75 minutes. We lost it at first “ooooommmmm.” A quick slip of eye-contact, and we were muffling not-so-subtle chuckles while being cued to let go and breathe. All I could think was, “Are these people for real?” The pace of the class drove me nuts, and the welcoming of the present moment gave me the willies.
Just over a decade of transformation later, I am in fact a heart-centered, breath-cuing yoga teacher. This “choosing love” thing really has led me down the rabbit hole, but I’m starting to learn that down this rabbit hole, magic happens. To my surprise, I have found such joy in yoga – yes, in my own practice and now even more so in teaching (which is another practice in of itself…that “teacher being the student” thing is 100% correct).
I fall more in love a bit more each time I am able to meet students where they’re at. Yoga has been a great teacher and source of healing for me, so the opportunity to share that gift with others is pure joy.
When I showed up to yoga with great discomfort at 19, the backdrop of my life was rather unconscious – filled with gossip, escape, and fear – not to mention the fact, I was in full hatred of my body. I unconsciously related to my body as a source of betrayal. I punished it, ran from it, and denied it.
While I am still on my own journey, teaching yoga is such a special opportunity to watch and serve transformation. Yoga helps us rewire minds, reconnect with our bodies, and rediscover the Spirit. It is a practice of realignment, and to be able to offer a space where people can come to find peace is a joy like none other to me.
Perhaps the joy springs because I know the perils of the dark side so well, because I am a champion of the light, and every moment of peace, reconnection, and love, signals victory.
We were not created to be in hatred, resentment, or distrust in any aspect of our lives. I never realized that my perfectionism was also judgmental. The busy-ness, stress, and discontent are so often a shell mistakenly trying to protect what we want and need most: connection.
Falling in love with yoga was falling in love with each of the “essentials” – God, self, and others. My mind could never have planned to have such a wonderful gift to pass on. It was only in the courage of letting go that we can receive so much more than we ever could have imagined.
Little choices + time = wholehearted change.