Five months ago, I reached a bit of a breaking point with teaching yoga. On the outside, things looked like they were going really well. My classes were filled with students, I was getting good feedback and I was teaching workshops and signing on to grow my teaching schedule. It was all what I "should" be doing. I had recently quit my 9-5 job, opened my private practice and I thought that teaching more was what I wanted. It was what I told everybody I wanted.
I never questioned whether I actually wanted to teach yoga. I have taught yoga for 4.5 years and never once have asked myself why I was still teaching. For the first few years of teaching yoga, I taught it because it gave me an outlet to authentically share my experience. As I've shared before on this blog, yoga was instrumental in me becoming sober. I was unable to workout at a gym or take workout classes when I first got sober because I was recovering from an eating disorder. A gym was the worst place for me to be as the obsession would start all over again with questions and calculations of how many calories I was burning, how much I weighed, what I looked like and how else I could push myself. It was an eating disorder's paradise. In a yoga room, it was all surrender. I had no idea how many calories I was burning, there were no mirror to scrutinize myself in and no control over the difficulty of the sequence or pace we moved. In those rooms, I found my true self and recovery. Then, when I had a transformational experience in yoga teacher training, I had a deep desire to teaching yoga in order to be of service and share what others had generously given me.
Four years later, I was still teaching, though to be entirely honest, my own yoga practice and beliefs changed a lot. I was practicing yoga about once a week, and was able to make sense of this by believing that yoga was bigger than the physical practice of yoga (asana). This is absolutely true, and something I still believe, however, for me, it became a justification for my lack of practice rather than an actual value. And yet, here I was signing up to teach more classes, workshops etc.
"Deep down, I began to get this feeling that something was missing. That I was a fraud...that I was teaching yoga because it was how I identified myself (on social media) rather than becauseI loved teaching or wanted to do it."
In reality, I was getting more from going to Soul Cycle and working out at home than going to yoga classes. Most times I was in a yoga class, I felt frustrated and judgmental of myself and others. I left class feeling more confused about myself and life, which is exactly the opposite of what yoga is designed to provide. Rather than facing it head on. I kept teaching but not practicing, not wanting to look at this glaring inauthenticity. Then, after making a particularly dumb mistake at the yoga studio I was teaching at. I got honest with myself and decided it was time to take a break and discover if I actually wanted to teach yoga.
Five months later, I'm happy to share that I did really miss teaching yoga. I was able to be a student for the past few months and actually discover what I love about yoga again and new things that work and don't work in my practice. In particular, I'm very excited that I connected a group of yoga teachers who have also had the experience of something being missing in their yoga practice. An intensity and an athleticism that has been missing for me. This is the reason I'm so excited to have found/ be teaching at Torc Yoga (opening at the end of this month.) It's a specific style of power yoga that adds that extra challenge, but still using just your body weight.
This style of yoga is the best of both worlds: the spirituality of your favorite yoga class + the amazing music, and workout of a cycle or boot camp class.
I'm so excited for you to try it! Head over to www.torcyoga,com for more info and a special intro rate. I'm going to be teaching FRIDAYS at 9am and SATURDAYS at 9:30am. See you on the mat!