Sitting with two fellow yoga teachers (both of which have multiple 500hr certifications) having lunch, the conversation turned to one of a qualifying nature. By qualifying, I mean, ‘who the hell are we to tell people what yoga is?’ This conversation can at times become frustrating because of the long history of yoga and its many lineages, there are many opportunities for a counter-argument. But it leads the question, with so many yoga teachers out there, what really qualifies any of us to teach a practice that is so old and sacred?
When I need to sit with a question for awhile, I will occasionally take a walk or a drive. In my car, I decided on my answer to this idea rather quickly; I didn’t become a yoga teacher, I became a professional yoga student. In 2005 when I took my first yoga class, I was a student of one degree, but in 2013 when I decided to invest money in order to participate in my practice in a bigger way-I became a different degree of student. When Im in front of a group of people leading them through a practice, Im sharing the pieces I have learned through both formal and informal study.
My work days are full teaching classes, of bills and organizing workshops, coordinating with teachers and students, but also, I have days that are spent studying books, concepts, postures, breathing and new ways to work with the body. Much like a professor whose job requires research, I spend much time keeping my information current and fresh for the clients and expansive for myself (and the clients too).
If becoming a yoga teacher is something you’re toying with as a possibility for your future, please know that all you’re committing yourself to is becoming a new type of student. You’re not required to teach for a living, but you are asked to expand your thinking. You’re invited to move through your experience with a different perspective. You’re invited to create an expansive space both within the mind and within what Getta Iyengar calls, ‘the body itself is a mini universe’.
I absolutely love what I do. I’m grateful for the opportunities as they have been presented to me and the opportunities I have yet to experience. Being a career student is something I could have never predicted for myself, but now, I don’t know who I would be without it. Three and a half years later and over 1000 hours of teaching experience has answered many questions I have had, but also has lead me to more questions. Some days that makes me want to throw up my arms, but most days, I remind myself that 3 years ago, I wouldn’t know what to ask to begin with.
Interested in becoming a professional student of yoga? Our next 200hour Training Program will begin in February of 2018. Click the Link HERE to review the application. Its not too late to fill it out and send it in! Stay tuned as we announce the dates of the 2018 program!