The Gift of Teaching

Some days, I don't want to teach.

Every yoga teacher has different little rituals and preparations before we teach a class. Because most of us come in to The Yoga Bar from other jobs, family commitments, life, we each take a moment to do a little something. A few deep breaths. Maybe a little prayer. A few minutes of meditation or quiet contemplation. Something that centers us, which allows us to be present and hold space for all of you.

But sometimes, these little rituals aren't enough. Sometimes, my centering just doesn't want to hold. Life bores its way in to the before-class peace I try to create. Maybe work was extra-stressful. Maybe I'm extra-worried about a parent, a child, a close friend. Maybe I just got some really bad news. When that happens, it can seem like a really good idea to surrender to the worry or fear or just general yuck and not. do. anything.

But. That's just fear and ugliness talking. So, of course, class goes on. We gather together in the shala and begin to breathe through a few centering breaths, some pranayama practice before we begin moving together. And then, something beautiful happens.

As I begin to breathe with you, everything just starts to feel a little bit looser. With every deep breath in and out, the stiffness lodged in my chest begins to loosen. I too focus on the feel of the cool inhale moving in, the warm exhale pressing out.  Then we begin to take postures and my inner life falls away as I focus on the shapes of your individual bodies, looking for spots that need a little help, making sure everyone is practicing safely. Focusing on you, I lose touch with a little bit of myself. 

So after leading a class, I leave with just as much lift as each and every one of you. When we're really practicing yoga, the practice lifts us out of our mundane little minds and lives, outside of the swift current of our thoughts, and plugs us in to something bigger. It's an energy exchange, you see. The practice, the breath, the energy we each bring to the room lifts us all collectively. And here lies the secret joy of the yoga teacher: there's yoga even in the teaching. 

So especially on grey days, blue days, down days -- getting to teach yoga is a gift, direct from you to me. And I remain profoundly grateful.

Got something to say? Let us know! Send your own ideas and questions for yoga drunk to TYB Content Manager Amy Thornley: amythornley at gmail dot com

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