What teaching yoga means to me
It really is all happening at the moment.
Last week, just before leaving Scotland for the US, I received my Level II Forrest Yoga Teacher certificate.
As you would expect, to reach Level II Forrest Yoga teaching status requires a significant level of dedication and commitment. It involves the completion of the month-long, 200-hour intensive Foundation Teacher Training, as well as the subsequent 400 hours of follow-up work. It is a huge achievement and I’m feeling really proud of myself.
Receiving this certification, while at the same time beginning another adventure to complete the Advanced Teacher Training, has caused me to pause and reflect on my journey so far and consider what it’s all about.
Why invest such a significant amount of time and energy on so many different levels - physical, emotional, spiritual and financial?
What does "being a yoga teacher" mean to me?
Being a “yoga teacher” is more about WHO I am than WHAT I do. It allows me to give expression to the essence of me.
This extends far beyond the yoga mat and far beyond my yoga teaching.
My desire in life is to support others to understand their own journeys better. To feel good in their bodies and spirits. To find a way of being that is based on acceptance and compassion for self and others.
Practicing and teaching yoga allows me to do this. It involves a daily commitment to my own growth on all levels. It requires a daily practice to cultivate harmony in all that I do. And the growth and awareness that I experience on the mat pervades every element of my life.
The more I do this for myself, the more I am able to give back. The more I am able to hold space for others. In the words of Thich Nhat Hann, “Peace in ourselves, peace in the world.”
Now I know my approach to life and my style of teaching isn't for everyone. Nor should it be. We're all unique. We each need to do the things that feel truest to us. But, quite honestly, I couldn't live any other way.
So I will continue to practice. To learn. To teach. To seek a deeper understanding of myself and others. To build meaningful relationships. To lead with my heart. To take risks. To speak my truth. And to dedicate all the time and energy I need to the practice. Aho!