Why I Teach Yoga

When life brings you down, you reflect.

I’ve been house bound for the past four weeks due to some health issues I was dealing with… all is healing but my health is not something I want to bore you with today. It’s inevitable that we start reflecting on our life when we’ve been brought down to our knees, whether it’s a health crisis, financial gloom or any other situation that stops life in it’s track. Certainly this was my case.

All of a sudden the every day things of getting up, eating, going to work, groceries, school, kids, dinner, sleep, repeat don’t repeat anymore. Your routine has been turned upside down and now you’re lying in yoru bed trying to do the minimal to survive… and that is taking deep breaths to ensure your body is getting enough oxygen.

… and in between breaths, you realize that all the things you did before were quite insignificant and you wonder why you even do the things you do.

Do you ever stop to think about WHY you do the things you do?

If you haven’t noticed, the mind is crazy. It wanders. It ponders. It speculates and forms all sorts of conclusions as it rationalizes this and that. The biggest thing on the forefront of my mind as I lay in bed was my upcoming yoga teacher training that I promised to lead and that I already had students registered for. Oh the questions that plagued me… will I be ready and strong enough to endure the long hours of training? Was I going to be physically healed? Emotionally ready to support other people? Should I cancel the training? Should I postpone it out a few more months? Would the trainees understand? Would they think I’m trying to scam them?

And then, the questions of questions that shut up the other questions…

“Why do you even want to still teach yoga let alone lead teacher trainings?”

After doing anything for a long time, day in and day out, you do things simply because it’s become part of your routine. Yes, teaching yoga can become that too. Over the course of my teaching career, now over a decade, I’ve asked myself this question many times before. Now it’s magnified to include teaching aspiring teachers. As I let my mind wander into what my deeper intentions for teaching yoga is, whether it’s teaching students or student teachers, I’ve come closer to my why…. Here it is:

I teach to become a better student.

Giving up teaching would mean that I’ve given up being a student. As I expanded this thought, I realize how deeply this answer meant to me because I’m not a giver-upper type of girl. And the mere thoguht of giving up on myself flooded my eyes with tears and a pounding in my heart because I have learned to never give up on myself, even when others have, through all the trials and challenges life has given me. You learn so much, about yourself and about your craft, when you teach.

Don’t judge me for being selfish that I teach for my own benefit because I believe doing anything good for the world has to start with you. How do you hold yourself? Regard yourself? Respect yourself? Love yourself? If you don’t have it for YOU, it’s hard to give it to others. You may be able to give to others but eventually your well will dry out.

I teach to help others.

This has many facets of which the primary is to hold space for others. I never knew opening a classroom up for people to set down their mats, turn off their cell phones, and put their life on pause for an hour or more could result in some profound shifts in their life. I teach them acceptance when I welcome them exactly as they are. I teach them awareness and connection when I present a sequence that helps them feel and awaken their body. I teach them to breathe consciously and sometimes make the class ridiculously hard to get their attention so they become more present. The class I facilitate helps teach them how to quiet their mind so they can see themselves more clearly.

I teach to connect.

To connect to what’s real, my inner being, my highest self, to service, to humans who are searching to connect to the same things I am yearning for… and that is to connect to love, the universal love that we all need to thrive.

Go with the flow…

These reasons were enough for me to stay the course and let things flow and unfold as they are suppose to… but in the meantime, it’s all about rest, self-care, self-compassion and love.

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