It seems like a necessary time to ask myself that question.
Today is my first day back after road tripping across the country to marry my partner in crime, the one and only Jeff, and I am now preparing to co-lead a Brahmrishi Yoga teacher training with some incredible teachers- all of whom I have the utmost respect and admiration for and owe a lot for my teaching style.
So, it seems like the perfect time to pause and reflect on the growth I have had over the past almost decade of both being with Jeff and studying Brahmrishi Yoga before we travel into our new growth together. Funny the marriage and training are beginning within months of each other.
Why do I teach yoga?
To keep reviewing and learning
I remember in being in one of Bill’s legendary philosophy talks in my 200 level training and thinking, “Ok. That sounds right to me. Got it. Makes sense.” I laugh at that now as I know that the space between hearing a concept, understanding it in yourself and living with it is a vast canyon. One that is filled with huge boulders that cast a shadow on the Self, rivers that seem to sweep details away and at least one place where you lose the trail. Even if you’ve hiked that one before.
Teaching weekly yoga classes is a way for me to keep the trail clear and fresh. Like writing on the chalkboard a million times to remember my lessons. I remind myself to keep looking for what I didnt see before and to keep in mind that these lessons are imbedded in me which means they are evolving and changing along with me.
To have a philosophy to look to when life is confusing
Yawns are contagious. Negativity is contagious. Positivity is contagious. It is easy for me to get carried away, overwhelmed and confused in life. A good friend once critiqued me for needed more structure and as time goes on I see how right he was.
The appeal about yoga and it’s philosophy is that is gives me an outline, but it is my responsibility to understand exactly what that outline means to me. How does it function in my life? It doesn’t save me from the work of having to go inside and search for answers, but it gives me a starting point. I have grown to find a lot of comfort in that.
To serve life
There are many many ways we all serve others and do our duties on Earth. I have decided that part of my service is to hold a space for others in yoga practice. I teach yoga as a sign of gratitude for what I have learned and to honor the teachers and teachings that have had such an impact on my life. I feel that I am a better person from practicing yoga. And secretly aside I don’t think I would be entering a marriage without the yoga study. I have learned to be less rigid, to listen, to empathize, to be wrong, and maybe most importantly that I am here and I matter. I don’t have an option not to act- so it is my duty to choose my actions and to acknowledge my duty. The third chapter of the Bhagavad Gita calls me back again and again.
To keep the lessons of yoga fresh
I can do all the planning and studying in the world, but it is in a class with students where I am continually refreshed and make discoveries. Each class is a unique interaction where I have so many opportunities to learn. So much so that the terms “teacher” and “student” aren’t really adequate. It is a collaboration. I am so honored to be able to hold space for a class, but I know I’m not so much “teaching” as listening and trying to communicate what I am hearing from students.
Namaste. I bow to you.