Thursday, September 9, 2010

Celebrating 8 years of teaching

September marks my eighth year as a yoga teacher. Where did the time go?

I still find it hard to believe that what started out as a tongue-in-cheek comment turned into a long-term career. I don't think that many friends and family ever thought I would truly make teaching yoga into a career either. I used to be asked regularly "what else" I planned to do with my life. Happily, I don't get asked those questions now. 

Even after eight years I still think I have the best job in the world. Or if not the best, certainly one of the best. Sure, there are mornings when I don't really feel like teaching. If I haven't slept well or am grouchy about something, I find it a bit challenging to motive myself to teach. But once I'm in class, I'm always glad to be there.

It's not just yoga that makes me feel better, it's my students too. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be where I'm at now. My students are what motivate me. Sometimes, I feel like they teach me more than I teach them.

One of my favorite compliments is when a student tells me her life has been changed because of my classes. I'm not saying that to brag that I'm a really awesome teacher or because I think that I have some sort of special gift. If I do, it came from God and it isn't mine in the first place. I know where the glory belongs. The point here is, that knowing that people are not just enjoying my classes but growing and changing because of them, is rewarding beyond words.

As I've mentioned before, I started teaching yoga after leaving a very stressful and hostile job environment. I confess I loved my title but didn't like the people around me. All I ever heard was negative comments about what I was doing wrong and why I wasn't good enough. I began to wonder if that really cool title was worth it or not. It wasn't. Honestly, the most common reaction people had to it was raised eyebrows and incredulity.

No, I didn't become a yoga teacher so people would say nice things to me and like me. I did it because I wanted to be a positive part of someone's life, not a source of ire. I wanted to change lives for the better. Yoga is one way that I've been able to do that.

Every time as student becomes pain-free or less anxiety prone, I know I made the right choice and I am following God's purpose for my life. This is where I am supposed to be.

For all of you that have attended my classes during the past eight years, thank you. I've enjoyed being your teacher and I am excited to see what the next eight years brings.

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