I'm really enjoying teaching my series Yoga 101: FUNdamentals at Shakti Yoga & Living Arts. (So much so, in fact, that Yoga 201 is coming up soon!) It got me thinking. Of course.
There is so much I am not good at when it comes to yoga. Yes, yes, and I know, "practice and all is coming," but we all want to be "good" at what we do, right? Well, I can't reliably do handstand, bind, or even step my foot forward in surya namaskar. Sometimes it makes me feel silly to announce myself as a yoga teacher when I can't do some of those sparkly poses -- or even some of the "easier" ones. But I do practice. And practice well. And as much as I love asana, I like my practice to be about the big YOGA -- not just the stuff on the mat.
Interestingly, I am pretty good at teaching. I was a teacher before I was a yoga teacher, so I came to the top of the mat with a bit of experience. A bit, mind you. There are so many incredible, long-time teachers out there to whom I bow. I am awe of their practices, in many cases. But if you are a great teacher, I'm really in awe. It means you are connected to your students, have that presence, that voice, and a great approach that is serious, but not too serious. And in some ways, that's really what I want to be as a yogini. The teacher that makes you want to come back.
A few in my Yoga 101 series asked what would happen when the series ended. Would they be able to come to my class? (I must have blushed with delight! What a compliment!) And then it hit me -- it doesn't matter that I can't do titibasana (yet). They don't care. They want to feel safe, soft, open, strong, challenged, and successful in their yoga. These gracious yogis have bonded with me enough to want to practice with me more. Well, right on. I'm confident we'll have fun on the path together and find the yoga we're all meant to share.
For me, teaching is a big part of my practice. Spreading the love, opening the door to yoga that someone maybe couldn't find, or worse, had been turned away from. I never really thought about that before. I am so lucky to have these students that help me rethink everything I do on the mat. I take that with me off the mat. Hari OM.