Before I became a yoga teacher, I assumed all yoga teachers were special – they’d figured it all out, and they were living the dream. They seemed to breathe a different air that the rest of us. Then, I became one.
While I was able to refine some of my behaviors – most of the time – my training left me remarkably human. I may have found calm but I wasn’t necessarily able to hold onto it for 24 hours a day. It seemed like my training actually amplified my “imbalances” and I needed more.
Meditation helps. This is the practice that is evolving with me, and it’s making me more forgiving of myself.
Like any subject, the more I do it, the more I realize how much I have to learn. Sometimes I have to land right in the middle of what I don’t want to confront. Meditation places me in the center of my own cruelty – to others or myself. It puts me in the position of being uncomfortable and uncertain, blown away by how little I know.
This all makes me a better teacher. I’m still in the midst of it. I’m still sorting it out. As teachers, we walk alongside our students, even though we are standing at the front of the room.
This is why it’s so important that we have our own mindfulness or meditation practice that we uphold outside of the room. We are getting to know the bare bones of this being, and that helps us elevate our level of presence while teaching. People can feel it. I know that the more I meditate, the more my classes feel good and true.
Even though I’ve read many books on the subject, what I need is already here – time, patience and acceptance will help me evolve and serve. The answers to our most profound questions are within us, and as teachers, we must explore them all.