I am 5 days until the anniversary of teaching my very first yoga class. Bikram says it takes 10 years to become a teacher. On June 7th, it will be ten years since I taught my first class. May 31st was the ten year anniversary of my graduation. Whew. What a ride!!
If you asked me ten years ago today what I would be doing now…well, I’m sure teaching would be in the mix, as I was at teacher training, but I’m not sure I could have even fathomed where my job, my life, my yoga would have taken me, and all the things I would learn in the process.
Do you ever notice that parents always think their kids are the smartest kids? We have the opportunity, as adults, to actually witness small beings learning and experiencing new things pretty well every moment of their lives!! We, as adults, have learned it all, experienced it all, so we take the normal stuff for granted. Ever really allow yourself to experience the sourness of a lemon as though for the first time? How about looking at a flower, or a leaf, as though seeing the delicateness of the petals and the amazing seamlessness of how the colours blend into each other?…You get the picture. As we grow, we learn. Once we get to a certain age, we learn how to take care of ourselves, we have some life experiences, get into a bit of trouble and figure it out, have to make a couple choices, relationships, moving, living alone…etc…after we gain some life experience, we think we pretty well know…everything…right? So, our parents and other people around us continue to try to parent us and give us advice, without it seeming like advice, and take heed and charge forward and continue to gain life experience. Then, as we get this experience, we start to see things about ourselves, patterns, behaviours etc. We start to see how much we thought we knew “back then” and how much we really didn’t know…which means as much as we think we know now, it must mean that we still don’t actually know anything because we are only so little into our lives and development (but at least now we are wise enough to see that we still have so much more to learn and experience! Ha!). One of my favourite ideas that I heard way back in a different part of my life, is this…there are a bunch of things that we know we know (I know how to cook, do yoga, sing, teach, drive, etc etc), and then there are a bunch of things that we know we DON’T know (I don’t know how to fly a plane, play the guitar, tap dance, build a car, etc etc)…and then there is the category of the things you DON’T KNOW YOU DON’T KNOW…IMAGINE IT! There are so many things I don’t know I don’t know, so I don’t even know that I want to know them or am yet to even discover them!! So, you see, the learning and experiencing is endless!!
OK, so here I sit, 5 days from the ten year anniversary from teaching my first class and I have been having floods of emotion and memories. I have never done anything for TEN years in a row! I have been remembering classes taught and classes taken. I have been remembering times of loving what I was doing and times of not loving it. Times of feeling I was in the right place and times of wondering what the hell I was doing. I have had moments and hours of physical strength and physical weakness, emotional strength and emotional weakness. I remember times of true pure happiness and bliss standing on a podium leading students…and I have also felt completely sad, frustrated, fearful, nervous, excited, joyful, scared, inspired…I can quite honestly say, in my now ten years of teaching this yoga, I have experienced every part of who I am in that yoga room, on the podiums of all the many schools and beaches and grassy yards and living rooms and poolsides and dreams that I have had the opportunity to teach a class in.
I have had many people say many things about the way I teach class, and about me because of it. I have had a couple of brutally honest things said to me through this process, but that is for another post. I will say this…the other day a student revealed to me (when talking about me having taught for 10 years), that I open the door more now.
It’s true. I do open the door more. And it’s true all the things people have said to me and about me. It’s true I’m tough. It’s true my class is tough. It’s true you will work hard in my class…if you want to. And it’s true I’m loving and caring and honest. In fact, all I need to say is I’m honest. Right? Honest is all of those things wrapped up together! To honestly teach something to someone from an honest place…isn’t that pretty well all things we could be all wrapped up in one big ball of awesomeness that sometimes hurts your feelings or stings the Ego a little…and it also lifts you up and fills your bucket and maybe strokes your Ego just a little. But it’s real and it’s true and it’s all of us. The parts we like and love and admire as well as the parts we hate and despise and are embarrassed of.
So, in my ten years of teaching yoga, I can honestly say that I have learned
So, in the past ten years, the biggest thing I have learned is
Huh. Apparently I have learned too many things and had too many life lessons and character building experiences that I can’t narrow it down. That was the last 10 years…and now, I am so excited to see what I can get up to in the NEXT 10 years!!
Until then, thank you to everyone. Seriously. Thanks. We’re all here at the same time, we might as well help eachother out!!