I once had a friend who was a Buddhist monk. He told me that he chose to become a monk, because he knew that he needed the spiritual practice so desperately. He knew that he needed to completely immerse himself in the practices in order for them to really work. He knew that by wearing the monk’s robes he would be reminded every single moment of every single day of his commitment to his spiritual practice. He knew that when he became a monk, and he wore those robes that people would treat him differently, which would help him stay focused on his highest ideals of how he wanted to serve others.
When he shared this with me, it helped me to understand something.
We don’t become yoga teachers because we have it all figured out. We don’t become yoga teachers because we know everything about yoga, or life, or health, or love, or suffering, or relationships. We become yoga teachers because we are so absolutely devoted to walking this path, and teaching it is a daily reminder to pay attention. It’s the gift of publicly declaring what matters to us, over and over again. It’s the gift of being able serve some beauty and healing and love in this world by being utterly committed to showing up every day and finding new ways to say that same thing again and again.
This is what makes us great teachers. It is this deep settling into the wide-open space of humility. It is this honest recognition of our own studentship, our own imperfections, and our own hidden potential, that creates the space for so much possibility. This space of humility creates a bridge between hearts, which allows for embodied transmission to take place.
I chose to become a yoga teacher, because I knew that I wanted to speak it out loud everyday. I wanted to make it my life’s work to keep waking up. I knew that I need these teachings so desperately, and I wanted to give my whole self to this journey. The beauty of teaching yoga is that we get be students twice. We get to be students of yoga, and students of teaching yoga, and with both, we will forever be held in great embrace of these powerful teachings.