I often ask my classes why they come to their mats for practice. The awesome thing about that question is that there is no wrong answer. Yoga, or the practice of asana, can be physical, meditation, mental, emotional, or a combination. I applaud and honor every student when they step onto their mat. Because even when we practice for a physical reason only, time on the mat can and should be sacred to self.
Ask any yoga teacher why they teach and there’s no wrong answer, just different paths to this point. My path to teaching started as a student. I have had a practice for 15 years but only after my life took a sharp detour did I really discover what practice could do. I began to rediscover with my practice that my moods were more calm, my thoughts more clear, and my body more responsive. Yoga was giving me benefits in my life that I had not planned on receiving. And one day, as fate would have it, I saw a flyer for a teacher training at the studio I considered home.
I called one of my sisters and bounced this crazy idea off her – what if I start teaching yoga? And did that make sense? Her response was a question back – when I’ve been most satisfied and happy with my jobs, what was I doing? I was teaching, training. I come from a corporate background with a heavy emphasis on training. I love that moment when I’m in front of a class room, of any type, and I’m passing along that which I know to the people that will one day surpass me with their knowledge.
That is why I teach. My passion to share what (little) yoga knowledge I have with another set of yogis is strong. It’s powerful. And it makes me so incredibly happy. I still have many friends that work in jobs they don’t enjoy and I have many friends that love their jobs. And it’s those that love their jobs entirely that have a light in their eyes that blasts out. For those that are searching, I’ve asked and I will ask again – what makes you happy? Find a way to be happy doing what you do.
In that teacher training that I became certified, on day one, our teachers asked us “Why yoga?” My response was naive at best, idiotic at worst, but it contained one snippet that I find to be true to this day – I’m on a search for my happy. And every time I take the seat of the teacher, the happy I feel, if it could, would power the East Coast.