Life as a Yoga teacher
“Ohhh you are a Yoga teacher…. Then you must be very Zenn all the time!”
Me: “NO, NO really not”…… And I think of the 1000 times I told people ‘just to breath’, while my own breath was doing overwork, jumping like a crazy frog up in my chest.
Being a Yoga teacher does not mean that you are all the time wandering around like a happy Buddha, with a big smile on your face, never bothered by the weather (those who know me know I can be very dramatic when it comes to the weather) or that monkey – mind keeping you awake in the middle of the night.
In this blog I reveal the mystic veil of what it is to be a Yoga teacher…at least, how I experience it. Yes, Yoga has changed me, but clearly I am human first, Yoga teacher second 😊
First of all: entering the class
For all those who have ever been to a yoga class, you know how it is: the teacher is upfront and the ‘students’ facing the teacher. And then I enter the room…… and I see a big, open, empty space – as if a show floor with spot lights and all – in front of my mat. All students are sitting FAR AWAY from my mat. Not wanting to sit, in front of the teacher.
Let me tell you, that still feels so weird to me. Just that thing makes me realize: “Gosh, they really see me as a teacher, because this is what I used to do in school too!”And I even wonder “Are they scared of……ME? (laughing to myself: a tiny yogi of 55 kilos) ” And then I sit down and I see 15 faces staring at me, full of expectation, waiting for me to say something. But I feel like, “Guys, take it easy: I am one of you!” But no, I am not, I am the teacher at that moment. And that is how it is. And I tell it in a funny way, but honestly, it is a very humbling experience time and time again. It is a moment in which I realize that it is my responsibility to make something out of that class. That everyone sitting there had their own reason to come – maybe just in need of some good body work, maybe some with a burn out, in need to have just 75 min to get out of their minds and into their bodies. I take that very serious and I set the intention to do my utmost best to guide my students through a practise that helps them in one way or the other.
Then – ‘spiritual talk’
Do I always prepare my classes? No. Are my best classes those who I have prepared in detail? Certainly NOT. Often times I have a good idea about what I want to focus on during a class, a theme or specific areas of the body. I know where I start….and then the practise just unfolds itself. This way enables me to go with the flow and luckily I have gained the confidence and experience to come into the class with an open mind and to allow for change and flexibility, according to what I see is needed. During each Yoga class I not only wish to guide my students safely through a set of asanas (postures), but I also want to invite them to turn their attention inward and to be fully present – observing the tendencies of their body and mind. And often times I think I am doing quite well, poeting a river of words together that help students deepen the experience…. And other moments…. You hear yourself talking, and you are thinking by yourself ‘what the *peep* are you trying to say Amber?!’ ‘This is just stupid’, or ‘That sounds sooooo cheesy’… Or you start a sentence and the ending is lost…. Just raffling some words together. Whenever that happens I bow my head by the end of the class and you remind myself that silence is the ultimate sophistication….. so next time just shut up if you don’t know what to say, Amber 😊
Let your belly out!
There is more to say, but hey, let me not unraffle the mystics of teaching Yoga all-in one. Maybe there will be a part 2 😉. My main aim with this blog is to just open up and be vulnerable, to make us laugh together. I feel we all are already working way too hard trying to keep up a certain picture/image of ourselves. We are often so self ciritical, so serious about all that we are doing. Lets just untighten that belt, let your belly out, and be real. Lets laugh about our own stupidity, lets admit that at times we have no idea what we are doing, lets show our vulnerability and be satisfied with just doing the best we know and can at any moment in time.
I am happy to share with you.
Alma Yoga – by Amber