When I first started teaching yoga, I made a commitment to myself that If I was going to make teaching my full time “career”… Then I had to dedicate some amount of time volunteering in the place that my teaching made the biggest impact. From the very beginning… That “place” has always been teaching high school students.
My first teaching “gig” was with a high school swim team, guiding two yoga classes a week before they hopped into the pool for practice. Fresh out of teacher training, you could say that I was on a bit of an ego trip.
I was going to change their life!
“Because of “ME”, this season will be the best that the team has seen… EVER!”
When it came to teaching 42 high school girls, I had to very quickly become a wordsmith, very patient, a strong and loving role model, and most importantly… A yoga student. By the end of our first class, I realized that being a “yoga teacher” meant something much greater than just teaching yoga postures; and I began to wonder how, through my teaching, I could make the biggest impact on their lives, possible. In a life changing shift in perspective, I realized that my job was to make each of them feel very important and give them a tool or two that they could take with them into real life.
From that point on I arrived at each class armed with an inspirational quote as the focus for the day, and at the end of every practice, I made sure to create a dialog about how each quote related to their lives. Postures were fun… But this work was real. By following my intuition and becoming more authentic and venerable in my teaching, I truly felt like I was accomplishing something bigger through the work I was doing.
At the end of the season, the girls gave me beautiful candle inside of a glass jar. The jar was decorated with all of the quotes that I ever shared with them, and inside was a thank you note. This jar still sits in my yoga studio as a reminder of what they taught me.
1. Yoga is much, much more than just Asana.
2. Being a Yoga Teacher means being a Yoga Student… Always.
3. Never pass up the opportunity to make someone smile OR feel important!