Arriving at yoga practise today it was only me and XX, a fellow yoga teacher trainee, for the few minutes before class started. (Well, I should say yoga teacher as we have now completed our training.)
The usual chit-chat. Catching up as he’s been on holiday the last couple of weeks. The conversation then turned to yoga, of course.
He admitted he’s not really enjoying teaching beginner classes. He explains his reasons why and I get it.
His demeanor changes however, as he begins to talk passionately about a couple of classes he took while on holiday. He tells me of one practitioner in particular who could perform all these difficult and complex asanas while he watched in awe and amazement.
I sense that is where he’s meant to be. What classes he wants to teach. Where he wants to go with his own practise. The climb. The challenge. The strength. He is looking to master this thing, these poses.
Me, I’m happy to work through each class to gain the reward of laying in Savasana.
And for me, I want to teach the beginners.
I want them to feel they can do this. That yoga is okay and available to them and they don’t have to do master all these difficult poses to benefit from yoga.
To achieve some mastery, yes, of the asanas. But more than that, to get to know their body a little. Themselves a little. To learn to feel. The body. The emotions. To work through their doubt, uncertainty, fear, vulnerability, frustration, humiliation, anxiety. To feel inspired, passionate, determined, hopeful, liberated, confident, courageous, calm and peaceful. To discover all that makes them who they are.
This is what we get to learn, when we step on the mat.
Long-time practitioners and teachers can take students further and help them with nuances that I cannot yet observe, notice, demonstrate or teach well enough. I can only do so much. I feel anxiety at times that I don’t know enough. But I can take beginners from where I was a year ago, to where I am today. With my knowledge, my practise, my passion for bringing this to each of their lives.
Of that I am sure.
I must acknowledge what is right and true for where I am today. Not where I might be a few months from now. Or five years from now. Or even where I was yesterday.
I don’t want students to wait. Until they are skinny enough, strong enough, flexible enough to move through even the most basic of poses. If people wait for that, they may never begin.
So I will teach the basics and when students no longer feel challenged and growing with what I’m able to offer, they will move on. My buddy XX can take over with what he loves to do, what he’s able to offer.
I need to work with what I have and not feel limited by it, but embrace it as unique to myself. That’s not to say I will stay at this level forever. I will change, I will grow. I will learn more and therefore teach more. I may choose a different path that works for me in the future. But for now, this is what’s laying in front of me. I need to pick it up carry it with confidence.