Thursday, August 4, 2011

I am a Yoga Teacher, uh... I guess.

I did my first yoga teacher training five years ago at Kripalu. We were a large group and did our training on site at their beautiful campus. I had a bit of yoga under my belt and was ready to go deeper. The day I graduated one of my teachers gave personal words of wisdom to each of us. She told me "just go out there and teach." That seemed like a good idea. I taught my friends, my mum, and anyone who wanted a class. I got reviewed, critiqued and given suggestions by people I loved and trusted, then we had wine and cheese and kibitzed. I was ready to go deeper into teaching, but not in a studio. I didn't feel ready, and it didn't feel right. My evolution into teaching has been slow, unique and and it's not what pops into the mind when most people think of teaching yoga. Linda's Yoga Journey has a fantastic post on the subject of yoga teachers, yoga training programs and the influx of new teachers pouring out into the universe daily.

There are so many programs and it does seem every studio is now offering a teacher training program. It feels like there's some pressure out there these days to get into a teacher training program. So many students are entering these programs with unrealistic goals and expectations. I do become concerned when I run across someone who has lost their job and decided their next career will be teaching. It's really hard to sustain a living teaching yoga full time, work can be sporadic and the money is no good.

I do have a teaching practice. My practice is private and specific. I teach, give in-services on specific areas of yoga which relate to my profession and do some lecturing and research. I found a place to contribute, its my dharma and I embrace it. I would be frustrated, sad, and probably had the house foreclosed had I attempted to abandon what I have for full time teaching. Intention with clarity is essential. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, or can't happen, it's just a lot harder than it looks, and it will evolve quite differently for everyone.


Linda-Sama said...

thanks so much for the link love, dear....:)

Kristin said...

This resonated with me because I feel the same way and I am seeing the same thing.

I do work full time, I have a husband, two active dogs, and a 30 minute one way commute. I currently lead about 4-5 classes per classes per week. I am content with what I have and have NO desire to teach full time (for the reasons you listed above and others).

What I struggle with is the perception that because I teach yoga, that's what I do for a living and the Y in particular, is always surprised when I turn down teaching extra classes. I've tried to explain the above but they don't seem to understand why I don't want to be in town from 730am until 730pm every day.

I want to keep my teaching fresh, and if I'm burnt out, frazzled with no family/down time, then I am not teaching from the right place. You said it so eloquently:

"I found a place to contribute, it's my dharma and I embrace it."

Thank you!