The first time I ever practised yoga was in January, 1999. That is 19 years ago. How time flies. I knew from the very first class that I wanted to teach yoga, that it was my path. So, why did it take me so long to start teaching? One word: Authenticity.
I had for the longest time the feeling of being an imposter. Imposter syndrome is the persistent feeling that you are a fraud. In the five types that are listed there, I would say I am a Natural Genius and a Rugged Individualist. Oh, with a bit of Perfectionist thrown in, for good measure. It’s a high bar I have set for myself.
In yoga, the stakes are high. You are not playing with people. You are doing serious work. And lest we forget, you can only teach what you know, so the most serious work you are actually doing is on yourself.
It is not easy to start off with the Yamas and Niyamas, the codes of ethics that underpin all serious yoga practice. Non-harming, purity, self-study, contention…it is a long list, and very hard to adhere to 100% of the time. Add that to six-days-a-week practice, and an evolving practice at that, not stagnating, bringing new things to the mat. Phew.
It is easy to fall into the idea that you are never good enough to teach yoga. Or rather, for me it is. Evidently, for others it is not so difficult. There are plenty of people out there who, a year after discovering yogâsana are on a 200-hr course and then teaching a few months later. This is not a criticism of such people, it is a reflection on my inner process, my evolution.
I could not allow myself to do such a thing. Maybe it is simple enough to say that my baggage was too heavy, my inner world too murky, my compass skewed. Who was I to teach anyone how to live happily?
And yet, slowly, progressively, I oriented myself, I shed my baggage, I shone my light. The interesting thing was discovering that we don’t have to be 100% perfect and clean. But, we need to love our own flaws, our own pain. When you learn to love your pain, you become whole and when you are whole you can hold space for your students to learn to love themselves, in their entirety. When I got that, I started to teach in earnest. Now, it is my passion, my absolute passion!
A lot of marketing in the holistic world centres on authenticity. How can we tell the real from the false. I dunno, I don’t have a simple answer. I think it’s intuition, I think it’s a feeling. All I can say is that I think I am authentically ok now, I think I am. I hope I am cos goddarn I am not going back to that place where I was before! So, if you feel like checking out my classes, meeting me to ask about how I teach, having a conversation, you’re already here on the blog. Take the next step and get in touch.