WHY do I teach Yoga?
I’ve said it many times: “I had zero interest in teaching Yoga when I signed up for Yoga teacher training.”
I’ve spoken, at length, about my “why” for taking YTT...spoiler, I’m a dork and like to learn, but I’m not so sure I’ve explored my “why” for teaching Yoga.
Initially, I said YES to a weekly class because I was scared. My story was “who TF am I to call myself a Yoga teacher” and I knew that if I didn’t confront that voice head-on, then that voice would become more believable over time. (Knowing what I know now, going straight from 200 hours to leading weekly public classes maybe isn’t the best path, AND maybe it was still ok)
I could (and have) write pages around the exact sequence of events that pushed me out of my comfortable nest, and into the BIG sky of teaching Yoga full-time...I got laid off my fancy scientist job...or the roller coaster of the last few years...feeling a little like that scene if Forest Gump after the storm with the “Jenny/Grace” boat still standing...but what has previously been left out of my personal writings has been choice.
Do I consider myself a person of choice, or am I simply subjected to the random winds of life?
Sure, at any time I could choose to go back to the science world, or pursue any other interest as a career path.
So WHY am I a Yoga teacher?
WHY have I continued on this path through so many personal, and community, heartaches and obstacles?
Generic, but also real, answer: Yoga truly changed my life, beyond the asanas, and I want to share these gifts with the world.
Before Yoga, I could touch my toes, do handstands, and splits. AND I was out of touch with my emotions, lacked communication skills, and had more than a few favorite ways to numb out completely.
My very first Yoga asana class was around this time in 2009, and beyond all new things that come with a fast-paced Baptiste power flow class, I walked away with one little nugget of wisdom that I would consider for years to come, “You are not your crazy thoughts.”
As someone who had recently been confronted with a series of “crazy” thoughts and experiences due to my favorite ways of numbing...I was definitely interested in learning more.
So I went back, and kept going back. And somewhere along the way, I discovered my breath, and my ability to change my breath during circumstances. WHOA!
Great story...AND getting back to the hard question that I clearly can’t quite answer directly…
I teach Yoga because it’s the hardest, and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I’m the type of person who gets bored when I “figure” it out. This isn’t possible for Yoga, as each lesson has a lifetime of learning, and embodiment, which not only humbles me, daily, but keeps me questioning, and in integrity.
It’s the self-study (svadyana) for me...the always asking WHY and then questioning the WHY…
But so is pretending to be something I’m not, or lying to myself to get what I want, or the millions of other ways I’ve self-sabotaged or bullshitted myself over my life.
Am I sounding self-righteous? Maybe...will sit with it…
The most beautiful thing about this life-long practice of Yoga is that I get to begin, again, as many times as necessary.
“Atha yoga anushasanam”
~ Yoga Sutra 1.1
And NOW, begins the practice of Yoga.
So maybe it’s more about the compassion (Karuna) for me…
I will keep sitting, and asking WHY...