When I decided to get my yoga teacher certification it was as if there was divine intervention. I had been looking into training and every single one had a schedule that with my current situation just wouldn’t work. I thought it would have to wait.
Nay. Like Joseph Campbell says, “doors will open where there were only walls," when you follow your bliss.
One day a young, smiling, man bun wearing gentleman sat at my bar and we made easy conversation. (Which wasn’t always the case honestly.)
He mentioned that he was becoming a yoga instructor, and in only a couple months there would be another training. It just so happened the schedule of which worked perfectly for me!
It was a sign.
Within the week I headed to the studio to check it out. It was beautiful, but it had that very corporate feel. Like the Starbucks of yoga studios, you go to one and it looks the same as all the others. They had figured out a formula.
The instructors were kind and I remember thinking “if I become a yoga instructor will I be this happy all the time?”
My training was wonderful. It was thorough, I was surrounded by amazing people, I had to be vulnerable and face fears, and it was just perfect for me at the time.
Oddly, I remember writing in my yoga journal about how I didn’t think I would teach there when I finished training. How it just didn’t seem to quite fit. It was like those pants that are just one size too small. You can squuueeeezzeee into them but they aren’t comfortable, and there are bits spilling out.
Things changed by the end of the training. I got an instructing job there and I saw it as an opportunity, a way to start gaining teaching experience. Getting a job as a yoga instructor in one of the most highly capitalized yoga cities isn’t easy and here I was just graduated and had a position. Why would I turn that down?
My specialty at the time became the type of yoga I originally had no desire to teach. I was the weight lifting, fitness enthusiast and so I taught yoga sculpt constantly. I had the energy and the background, and I actually really began to enjoy it. It was fun even though I was more of a fitness instructor than a yoga instructor.
I think perhaps I had more to learn. My lessons weren’t finished yet.
As it turned out my instincts were correct though. My intuition told me long before I left that it was time to stretch myself and get out side of my instructor comfort zone, to move on. Of course I didn't listen and instead I had to learn the more difficult way.
Being a corporate business meant there were very specific ways to do things. Not only for the decor but for the instructing. There was a way things had to be said, done and taught. All in the best interest of the student and their experience but it was time for me to go beyond that. I wanted to explore my personal teaching style, to get creative with my sequences, to add in different styles of yoga. Most of all I needed to be allowed to make mistakes and be imperfect.
So I had to make the hard choice to transition, which is always difficult. I felt like a failure, like I SHOULD be able to just teach anywhere. Here’s the thing…I could, but it wouldn’t have been beneficial for my students or for me.
It was time to move on and to follow my heart. My heart brought me back to the road and to travel.
But I missed teaching. I got a chance to teach in Nicaragua and while on my cross country road trip. Both were absolutely amazing experiences. I love to meet new excited people, and to have the honor of guiding someone through their first yoga practice. It makes me absolutely giddy.
I want more of that. To be able to instruct no matter where I'm at in the world.
That dream starts here. With you and me. With us building this community.
I understand that having a consistent schedule and teaching in the same place can be beneficial, but I also believe that I have to follow my bliss in order to be the best instructor I can be and that it can all work together in harmony.
The next step I decided to take was to create a series of yoga videos. Although I don’t get the hands on aspect that I love about teaching in person I am so excited to be able to guide people all over the globe because of the power of technology.
From my own healing process blossomed this program, Yoga for Healing. A series of videos designed to benefit those who are unable or not interested in practicing power, who's bodies need gentle movement and who are looking for an instructor who knows what it feels like to deal with things like extreme fatigue, debilitating depression and chronic joint pain.
You never know where life will take you, but usually when you are going in the right direction things just so happen to fall into place. I was shocked to find a teacher training in just the right moment of life, it was a surprise to end up teaching where I did and to fall in love with sculpt. Then, I couldn't believe my health and body deteriorated so drastically so quickly but it brought me to redirect my instructing out of the studio for a bit and to challenge myself more than ever. All of it brought me here, to this. Exploring all different types of yoga, confronting my beliefs about myself and my body, filming yoga videos and challenging myself over and over.
That's life. It usually doesn't end up how we planned but we must lean into it. Resistance I found only causes more pain.
Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. - Bruce Lee