Reflections on my first year of teaching…

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Buddha, Kamakura, Japan

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve tried to write this post a thousand times.  Trying to write about the first year of teaching yoga is sort of like writing about your own first year of life: you can put it together from pictures and what other people have told you, but frankly, you’re too busy living it to try to explain it.  Still, I think it’s important for me to put down some things that have (and have not) happened since I started putting my mat in front of everyone else’s in class.  I think the best way for me to do this is sort of a bullet point list: Random order, brief points.

About teaching and my yoga ON the mat:

  • I don’t teach my class from a book or notebook anymore, although I do sometimes write down new flows I have made up.
  • I don’t stay on my mat much.
  • I have learned how to read my students and know what each class seems to need.
  • I don’t get so shaky and nervous before each class.
  • I put my hands on students all the time now, not just for adjustment, but for encouragement, healing, hope, etc.  Human touch is vital to life!
  • I don’t teach in a gym anymore! (unless, of course, I’m subbing.)
  • I chant.
  • I let my breath do the work now.
  • The more I know, the more I have to learn.
  • I find Yoga in everything: cartoons (Avatar the Last Airbender is incredible,) Star Wars, baseball, housework, live music, libraries, grocery shopping, etc.
  • I always have at least 3 yoga mats in my vehicle for Random Acts of Yoga and in case anyone wants to join me.
  • I can do Sirsasana, Eka Pada Koundinyasana, Pincha Mayurasana, Hanumanasana, Galavasana, and a whole host of other arm balances and inversions.
  • I do those arm balances and inversions not to show off, but because they refresh and renew me. I often do them in my pajamas.
  • I fall a lot more often, but that means I’m trying new things.  It also means that I do yoga when I’m not at my best.
  • That means I’m really dedicated to the practice, not just the “glory.”
  • I realize that Virabhadrasana is a hell of a lot harder than it looks.
  • I write yoga articles for a local publication.
  • I partnered up with my mentor, friend, and teacher.
  • I have met so many amazing yogis and yoginis around the world, some in real life and others online and over the phone.
  • I am much more gentle with myself.
  • I love the WHOLE WORLD so much more.  We are ONE.
  • My most prevalent emotion is Gratitude.

My life OFF the mat:

  • I realize I’m not Super Woman.  I am human. (If you know me personally, you know this is HUGE.)
  • I realize I cannot do it all.
  • I can, and do, ask for help.
  • I don’t require anyone’s permission to have my opinions, feelings, thoughts, and ideas.
  • I realize that “Control” is just an illusion.
  • I let my kids roam freely more often.
  • I trust more.
  • I have more fun.
  • I dance.  Period.
  • I finally truly honestly believe I am worthy simply because I am alive.
  • I am learning to love my body.
  • I have ended a few friendships that were not healthy.
  • I have picked up a lot of friendships that are healthier than I’ve ever known.
  • I realize that guilt and blame and shame only harm and I am trying to release all of it.
  • I am happier than I have been in my whole life.
  • I need MUCH less “stuff.”
  • I have adopted a “wait and see” attitude about most things.
  • I am willing.  Period.
  • I forgive much more easily the things that are forgivable.  The things that are not don’t bum me out so much anymore, but they do motivate me to make changes.
  • I finally really and truly get that All You Need is Love.
  • I go to bed earlier and I get up earlier and I’m happier for it.
  • I’m happy.  REALLY happy.
  • I realize that there are some things that I just do not like and that is okay.
  • I am taking risks that are moving me forward.
  • I make big plans, arrange for them, and then fulfill them.
  • I like who I see in the mirror.  Every. Single. Day.

I will probably add to this list.  I will probably also pick some of the bullets and turn them into entire blog posts.  I know I have forgotten to mention much, but that’s okay.  I have all the time in the world.  There is no finish line to a yogic journey.  Each step you take shows you that you have at least one more to go.  I feel so blessed to be walking along the path with all of you.

Namaste

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3 responses »

  1. beautiful list.. can definitely share some of those with you. what a joy it has been to watch as you take this ride. hope someday to partake in the wonders of your teaching! much love lady and here’s to another year of growth, expansion and flight

    hugs kisses, oms and namastes

    xoxo

  2. I love u even more now for this!. This is close to what I have been feeling it some of it.. u are amazing. I can’t wait to ‘see’ u!.

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