It’s kind of funny. I haven’t thought much about why I teach yoga lately and then, in the past few days, I’ve been shown so many reminders of the power in sharing this passion.
I teach because it is my passion. I have frequently thought that I need to expand my knowledge of yogic texts and still want to explore them, my passion for yoga comes through the power in the asana practice. I feel this practice – and that may sound corny and standard, but the more I teach and practice, the more I begin to realize how kinesthetic I am. In my practice, I play with small movements, little changes, different muscle activations to feel them in my body. When I teach, I’ve been catching myself “doing the cue” before giving it to students so that my words give them what to chase/experience.
I teach for connection. It’s a basic human need that is often overlooked. We crave authentic connections with other people. We crave growth. We want to share out paths. Just this past weekend, I had a student come to one of my classes. When I introduced myself, he said that he had taken my class before. As we dove into when/where, it was over two years ago at a gym that is no longer on my schedule. He took one class; he remembered that one class; he remembered me. Now, he’s decided he needs to supplement his life with yoga; he tracked me down. It’s a humbling feeling but it’s a really great feeling to have a student seek me out because of one class two years ago.
As a teacher, I want to challenge my students to become their best selves – both on and off the mat. I’m inspired by students new to the practice that try an arm balance or inversion; by students that acknowledge how the practice has taught them to breathe and to feel themselves; by students that work through their shadows to find their light; and by other teachers that challenge me to “step up my game” on a regular basis to give students more opportunity to grow.
I teach because I practice every day. And my daily practice, regardless of what it is, belongs completely to me. I’m selfish with this time. But I want students to be selfish with their time on the mat too. That’s where and how strength, integrity, breath, spirit, and going deeper turn us on to becoming our best self.
We get on the mat. We breathe. We make shapes. From there, we allow the magick to happen.