Wednesday, February 1, 2012


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.


Poptartyogini said...

What an awesome compliment your class gave you. I can only imagine that as a teacher having your students want to continue to learn from you is the greatest gift of all. I don't think a teacher needs to be 'good' at yoga. I think a good yoga teacher inspires students to want to practice yoga for the rest of their lives. That they see yoga as an investment in their future.

Flying Yogini said...

great post.. I'm sure you are a wonderful teacher. I too taught before teaching yoga but I swear it was a whole new kettle of fish. I think if the teacher lives their yoga then that determines if they are good at teaching. You can do the fanciest asanas in the world and still not be able to share that with others. If you live it then sharing it is like brushing your teeth: you don't even think about it.

kudos on a great series. can't wait to hear what's next!!

Teeg said...

LOVE THIS!!! yes yes and more yes. majority of students could care less about the fancy stuff. they just want to sink into their bodies for a precious hour a day. i bet you are just gorgeous up there <333

yassa said...

Nice sharing and I do agree Yoga is GREAT!!

keishua said...

I have been toying with taking a YTT. One of the main things that makes me feel like I shouldn't is that I don't have a sparkly practice. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what matters. I am still not sure if I want to be a yoga teacher. probably not but I would like to dive deeper in my practice and share it with other in a real way. I think that is what your students are relating to. You are sparkly because you are real.