Struggling as a Teacher

Being a yoga instructor is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. One of the things I get to do every day is give back to others and remind my students how they can empower themselves through the practice of asana (yoga poses).

A typical day for me begins with getting the kiddo ready and off to preschool, so I can teach and manage a studio. I have a husband that travels for work, I teach workshops, I teach anatomy I have laundry to do, a house to clean, a sick parent, and we are planning a move. So in other words I struggle too. How do I do it all? Here is the honest truth.  Some days I don’t.

With everything that is going on when do I get to practice? Here’s the truth.  Some days I don’t. There is this illusion out there that to be a great teacher you need to have this amazing practice. That is a bunch of Bull Shit and here is why: To stand up in from of a group of people and tell them to embrace where they are and not believe it yourself is the BS!

Heather, how can you teach effectively if you haven’t mastered the pose? Here is how: I know anatomy. I have 13 years experience of working with the body and understand kinetically how we are designed to move. i have helped many students advance their practice by adjusting them and helping them find proper alignment. I have taught students to perform asana better than I can do and I LOVE every minute. To watch someone blossom right in front of my eyes brings me so much joy. I also teach from a place where I embrace my imperfections.

i practice my asana not as often as I’d like to. I do not have multiple hours in the day to do so but still I practice. Even if for 10 minutes. I do what I can when I can and if I don’t practice some postures for awhile, I sometimes loose them. That to me is yoga as well. It is circular in nature. We work some more until we get it back and then we refine it and improve it. My mat is my friend. If I get lost from my practice it doesn’t judge me, and we pick up where we left off or, we take time to go back to get to the place we left off.

Let me say it “My practice is NOT perfect”. I wear many hats. Mom, wife, teacher, student, manager, and more. I do what I can do when I can do it. I always do something even if for 10-15 minutes. Remember something is better than nothing.

Could I do better? Yes I could and I am sure we all could but like everyone else I am a work in progress. i have gotten where I am in my practice through practice and I will continue to grow doing the same. It is a journey even if it sounds cliche. Focus on where you are today don’t worry about the when, where, why and be with yourself right where you are. I will improve and I will at times step backward but it is all part of the journey. My goal is to make more me time and dedicate my time on the mat but I won’t beat myself up thinking I’m less of a teacher than someone who has a better physical practice than I do.

As in life someone will always be better and someone will always be behind. I lift everyone up equally and celebrate all victories. Mine and yours.

Nailing handstand may be fun but it doesn’t make me a better teacher, it doesn’t make me more enlightened,and  my life won’t change because after it is all over I am still me.