A fellow yoga teacher and I were chatting once about why we teach yoga, and it is interesting to see various teacher’s perspectives and reasons. Sometimes I find it hard to know why I teach yoga, not that I have no idea, but that I find it hard to define.
My interest in yoga started for health and well-being reasons, stress-release and mental and physical calmness.
And whilst these things are all priorities in my life, as I have learned how to be a teacher, and experiences various students and classes, my reasons for wanting to become more involved in yoga has evolved.
Yoga as a personal journey
When I think back to my first experiences of yoga, not only do I think my knowledge and ability surrounding yoga has increased, but my style of practising has changed, my style of teaching has certainly changed; but most notably, I have changed as a person, and this I attribute to yoga.
I had an interesting discussion with my fellow yoga-teaching friend about how all yogis come to yoga through different parts of our lives and for different reasons.
We discussed whether yoga can be a selfish thing. It may be very un-zen-like to admit, but yoga can be quite self absorbing. The idea of focusing on your true ‘self’, and to bring your awareness to your body and mind, and to improve your asana practice as well as your meditation, breathing….all these things involve you, solely you and your mat.
But when you decide to become a teacher, that’s when you want to take yoga further.
In my opinion, being a yoga teacher is the ideal job.
It doesn’t pay much money, and it is unlikely you will ever get a huge promotion, and it can certainly be difficult, particularly if you (like me) are a free-lance self-employed yoga teacher desperately grasping any work you can.
But for me, it is a great job, because I have learnt so much from yoga, and it would feel a little weird to keep all that to myself. I have so much knowledge which I didn’t have a few years ago. I have learnt a lot, and it has changed me for the better in many ways. There are so many people out there who are not aware of the huge benefits a yogic lifestyle, or even a lone yoga class can have on you, your life, your loved ones, your job, your stress levels, your health, your sleep….the list is endless.
I always say ‘if everyone in the world practiced yoga, the world would be a much better and more peaceful place.’
And I truly stand by that, so the more yoga teachers there are in the world spreading the positive energy, increasing the knowledge of yoga, the better.
Of course, it is not all sunshine and rainbows.
It can be tough.
I often doubt myself.
Usually this is because I feel as though I am still a yoga student myself, and not a teacher. I often think ‘how can I be qualified to teach these people so much, when I am still learning so much myself?’ But when I come back down to reality, I remind myself that we will always be students of yoga.
Yoga is a practice and a process, and we can never know everything, accomplish every goal, nor is this the aim of yoga.
I love to learn, and with yoga, there is no end to the learning. Each day is a new life lesson, and if that mind-state can be passed out to anyone who wants to listen…well, I’m here to teach.