I don’t think I have ever really told the story of how I came to be teaching yoga.
It was very serendipitous.
I also worked my ass off to make it happen.But I am getting ahead of myself.
In my ‘about’ section I talk about how I knew from the first class I took that yoga was my thing: this is true. What I don’t mention is that I had joined the gym as part of a program to Get My Life In Order. And lose those extra 14 kilos.
But I wasn’t allowed do any group classes because I had bought runners (trainers, takkies, depending where you are from) that had black soles. And black soles mark the wooden floors. Since my mom had just started doing yoga, and it was helping considerably with the pain from a hectic injury she had, I thought I might give it a go too. I didn’t need to wear shoes for it, after all.
Really well-thought out decision.
I couldn’t do anything in that first class: couldn’t touch my toes, couldn’t bend backwards, got out of breath with the sun salutes. Oh, and we did shoulderstand. Only I couldn’t get up because I was too weak. I vividly remember being mortified because my t-short rode up, and there I was: cellulitey belly hanging into my face, brain trying to tell muscles what to do, muscles ignoring all instruction.
Not my proudest moment.
Plus, the teacher had this intimidating, lithe body. All flexibility and good posture and dancery muscles. And she was much older than me.
Despite all this, I walked out of that class feeling like my feet weren’t touching the ground. I had never felt anything like it before.
I went back two days later. Three times the next week.
Within months, I was practicing a hodge-podge of poses at home every morning.
Then I started going to an Ashtanga class: when I’d been going for about four months, the teacher announced that she would be running a teacher training, and would I be interested.
But I wasn’t READY!
I did it anyway.
It was very hard. I think any adult re-skilling is, just because of the time it takes out of your regular life, and this kind of work tends to bring emotional and spiritual things up for healing, so it’s even more taxing.
When I qualified, I curled up into a little ball, unwilling to teach, because I didn’t think I was good enough.
I wanted to be a yoga teacher so badly that it made me feel sick every time I thought of it. I wanted it so badly that I didn’t teach at all for a while. That’s what I do.
The thought of failing is just so awful that I prefer not to try. That’s how managed to study journalism at university and then never write a word, until I started blogging. Bless me.
This time was different. I had Done Some Work on myself. I was more aware of my patterns. And I had reached an impasse at work. I had a nice job, well-paid, flexible hours, great people. But it just didn’t fill my soul, and I had been questioning for a while if this was all there was to life. It seemed very empty.
Also, people kept asking why I wasn’t teaching, after all the hoopla of doing the training. So I started teaching. Slowly at first, but by the end of that first year, I was teaching eight classes a week in addition to my job.
That’s when the double life started to get too much.And that’s when I moved into my new (and current) life of Yoga Teacher, Unemployable.
But that’s a story for another post!
- Michelle Myhre: a day in the life of a yoga teacher (yogawithnadine.com
- Yoga teacher, unemployable (yogawithnadine.com)
- Don’t make it pretty, make it work (yogawithnadine.com)
- Pants on Fire (yogawithnadine.com)