It being the beginning of May already, I suddenly realised that I’ve officialy been teaching for a year. A year. I can’t believe it has already been that long. It feels like yesterday that I was repeating my exam sequence over and over again. That I was stressing out about the correct order of the chakra’s, the biggest take aways of the Bhagavad Gita or the proper alignment in Utthita Trikonasana. A year.
Teacher or student?
Though since the exam I have been teaching one to two classes per week at work and I definitely feel like I’ve grown into the art of teaching, I still feel more like a student than an actual teacher. Maybe I feel even more like a student now, than I did before I actually became a teacher. It almost feels like the more I learn, the less I know. Does that make sense?
Every class I teach, teaches me something. Every conversation I have with a student, reminds me that I am in the exact same place as that student is. And this hasn’t changed in the course of a year. I am constantly reminded of my own journey, of the things I have to work on. And that I guess is good, as long as a stay confident in the things I do. But just that, is not always easy.
The inner critic
Those who follow Rachel Brathen (Yogagirl) and listen to her podcasts, know that she has talked a lot about the ‘inner critic’. That voice inside you that tells you you’re not good enough. And lately, especially with the live online classes I currently teach, I find this inner voice talking to me again. Telling me I’m not professional enough, that my body doesn’t look like that of a ‘real yoga teacher’ and that I should improve myself way more before I even consider having the ‘odessity’ to offer live yoga classes for everyone to join. And this sucks, for it affects my over all experience as a teacher and definitely doesn’t make me any better at what I do.
But the good thing is, I am able to observe these thoughts more objectively now than I was before. I too, should keep my attention within the four corners of my yoga mat, and simply enjoy to feeling of sharing my passion. Of teaching those postures that have helped me a long way.
People join my classes because they want to practice yoga with me or to simply have a look at what I do. They don’t join to judge me or make fun of me and I should keep that in mind. Those present, share my passion for yoga and that is that. And as long as I stay true to myself, to what I know, I can give them my best experience possible. Because only I can teach the way I teach and I should be proud of that. I should also trust that ‘my students’ will find their way to my classes and that I am enough to them. That I can actually do what the certificate I received more than a year ago allows me to do. And on top of that, it most likely only got better, for I have more experience with teaching now and I have added another year of steady self practice.
And of course, there is so much more to learn, so much I can improve, but that is an ongoing process. It will never ever change. And that is actually a wonderful thing, because it means yoga will be a life long friend that supports me and ecourages me to grow. ALways.
After a full year of teaching both on-and offline, it is time for me identify my lessons learned and set myself an intention for the coming year. Every time that ‘inner critic’ finds me in its audience, I will simply leave the theatre, meaning I will actively decide that there’s only truth in the experience, not in the thoughts about it. And this I will tell myself everytime before I teach. If I’m fully present in every class I teach, I will do the best job I can. And I simply have to trust that that is enough.
And by practicing myself, by deepening my own experience and deepening my knowledge, I will grow. Just as I did in the past year. I simply have to trust and surrender to that thought.
So, again I conclude a blog with being thankful for the fact that I have yoga in my life. Thankful for having had the opportunity to become a teacher myself and therefore remain a life long student.
I wish you all health, space to practice and the strength to accept the things the way they are. Let us be united through yoga and I hope we can soon return to practicing in each others presence again.