Sh!t I learned in YTT - Why I want to be a yoga teacher

     This week, part of the homework in YTT was to write about why I want to be a yoga teacher.  That is a pretty loaded question.  Sometimes, the simple act of answering a question gives you insight that you didn't even realize you had.  Here is my answer...

Why I want to be a Yoga Teacher

     For years, since I was just thirteen, I have lived a life where yoga has played a large role.  Grade eight was the year that I first discovered yoga, and started practicing.  It was also the year that I first attempted suicide. I spent the next ten years in and out of hospitals, on and off of different medications, on and off of living my life.  Counseling was a joke.  The medications had insane side effects.  Nothing was helpful.  Except for my yoga.  I read books on it.  I learned cleansing.  I had a somewhat consistent asana practice.  I tried to follow the eight-limbed path in my everyday life, to an extent.  It wasn’t something that I ever did 100%.

     I started researching teacher training when I was about twenty, because I always felt like I needed yoga to be more central in my life.  I would spend hours looking into different schools.  But I never felt ready.  I always felt like I was a hot mess of a person, and didn’t think that it would be fair for me to try and teach others how to become grounded, to feel at peace, to try and attain enlightenment when everyday was such a struggle for me. 

     After I had my first daughter, I started to feel more alive.  I started to feel every day how beautiful and absolutely miraculous life was.  I began to be endlessly thankful that I had survived all of my years of sadness.  I began to look forward to the future.  And again, I looked into teacher training.  I didn’t feel ready.  I was so busy being a mom, being a wife, trying to make a living, that I didn’t see how I could fit the training into my schedule.  I still read about yoga, I still had a home practice.  I didn’t think I could do more than this.

     My home practice and home study continued right through all of my four pregnancies.  However, after the birth of our last little blessing, I just lost myself.  I was so busy taking care of everyone else, that I stopped being a priority.  I didn’t make time to treat myself with any of the love that I showered on everyone else.  And over time, I just became so much less.  Less of a mother, less of a friend, less of a wife, less of a women, less of a human.  I became a shell of a person.  I was running on autopilot.  Even though the love for my family was boundless, I had no zeal for life remaining.

     And then one day everything changed.  I came to the studio for a yoga class.  Walking through the threshold, I felt like I was coming home.  I spent the entire class biting the inside of my cheeks, trying not to cry.  I wasn’t sad.  I was overcome with joy.  Inspiration.  Love.  Purpose.  Even thought my schedule was still busy, I started carving out time for myself.  I made it to as many classes at the studio as I could, and I began practicing at home again.  Sometimes I practiced alone, sometimes we practiced as a family.  I felt alive again.  I felt like I mattered again.  I felt like I needed this every day to keep my life balanced.  And I felt like I was ready for teacher training. 

     I started researching teacher training again.  And then, teacher training found me.  At the studio I practiced at.  At the studio I loved.  I knew it was time, that it was meant to be at this point in my life, that I was finally ready. 

     Throughout the training so far, I have struggled to see myself as a teacher.  Not because I have a lack of love for yoga.  Not because I feel like I have a lack of knowledge.  It is because I still sometimes feel like the incomplete, unsure girl that I was growing up.  That is why I will always need yoga to be at the center of my day.  And, that is what I have to share as a teacher.  I want to be a teacher to help others feel that liberation that comes with peeling away layers of things that don’t serve us.  Shedding layers that are not the true us, layers that grew from others projections of who we are, or our own projections of who we want to be. 

     The reason I decided to share this with you, instead of merely handing it in to my teacher, is because I believe with my whole heart that yoga can help to heal us, from the inside out. I am definitely not suggesting that you run to a studio or an ashram instead of seeking medical advice. I am merely suggesting that yoga, at the bear minimum can add so much to a treatment plan. There are so many options for us when starting (or re-starting) a practice. We can practice in a studio, either in a group setting or a private one, or we can practice from our own home. Preferably we do both. Finding a teacher that can offer both spiritual, emotional and physical support for your practice can be life changing. If one studio doesn't work for you, there might be another one that is incredible. Within any given studio, there might be many different teachers that each offer you support in a different way. I wish you love and light on your own journey, weather you are already well established, or just starting off. Namaste.