I’ve never felt comfortable with all eyes on me, which has made for a very uncomfortable entry into teaching yoga.
At first, everything was personal. I discovered very few people smile when doing yoga. They appear everything from bored to angry. I took this as a direct reflection of my teaching and let it stop me sharing what I loved.
I’m not a conventional teacher. My work includes a lot of sound and voice, and the asana I do is about meeting the sacredness of the moment.
In the past, I’ve let yoga trends shape me. Trying to live up to what I imagined other people’s expectations of a “yoga teacher” were, always resulted in me feeling like a fraud and a poor imitation of some incredible teachers.
As I keep pushing through my shyness to honour the truth inside, the more I connect with a place of deep trust.
I recall the first yoga class in which I developed the courage to go for it. I was guest teaching at a studio, and had just delivered a class quite different to what the students were used to. While they were lying in shavasana, I was slaying myself: “They hated it. They think I’m the worst teacher ever. Why did I do that sequence?” On and on my mind looped.
So with nothing to lose, I sang to them. I had my medicine drum with me and sung my heart out.
Bringing them out of shavasana, I still felt the shame and humiliation of being a “terrible teacher.” I didn’t look at them as we closed the practice, and began packing up immediately.
One by one, they came up to me, “That was amazing.” “I sooooo needed that.” “Thank you so much.”
I was speechless.
This is now a reference upon which I draw when I’m not feeling the courage to risk being myself.
Truly, there is nothing more heartbreakingly magnificent than being ourselves. To shine in our diversity and risk everything to embrace the depth of our human experience.
This feels yogic.