When I began practicing yoga, it was never a given that it would lead to teaching career.
Most teachers were selected amongst a group of practitioners that were involved in a dedicated practice involving not only classroom study but what eventually would evolve into crafted disciplines, hand-picked assistants and dedicated initiations.
At that time, as now, we were all in love with yoga. There was a deep love for the guru. We copied them. We ate what they ate, drank what they drank, even copied their speech patterns.
Seriously, people used to ask me what country I was from.
That reverence and devotion as a student naturally lead to teaching by selection – the fact that someone asked you to teach was an enchantment of its own. To be chosen to teach came from merit in the practice – self development and devotion.
I get you cannot capture the essence of yoga on Instagram. I mean, in truth, that which is captured is really not yoga at all. The fact that it can be duplicated makes it questionable alone.
Please do not mistake my above words to be anti-Instagram or social media or yoga postures. I really do love most of that stuff — the connection, to see people flourish, redefine limitations and to access something that seemed to not exist before.
I am all about self-development so I follow the path that was not only put before me but one I feel accountable to – the student. Most students that I have encountered in training programs feel overwhelmed, uncertain, trying to sift through material. They are often met with a lack of appreciation for their struggle and the teacher is met with a lack of respect.
I remember a strong nervousness when first teaching. One that lasted for a couple of years and then gradually went away unless I subbed a class or taught a workshop. I realized much later that I was not nervous out of wanting to be the next new thing however I was very concerned to honor the tradition and spiritual potency of the teachings and to be a proper liaison or steward to the teaching.