A Teacher’s Responsibility
So here I am back at the blog. I’m finding that blogging is a pleasant way of expressing oneself. A little like journaling, only in public. However, it can be pretty frightening putting oneself out there for all to see. That’s something I always seem to do, put myself out there. It just seems to happen. I tend make choices that ultimately end up with me putting myself in front of people either physically or in writing.
Something people don’t know about me is the fact that I really shy away from the center of attention. I grew up with very low self-esteem. If I’m at a party, I’d be the one standing in the corner. I don’t communicate easily yet here I am. You’re reading my words or perhaps you’ve stood in front of me as I’ve guided your practice, which begs the question, “Why do I do this to myself?”
I’ve been a training manager in my professional career, a karate instructor and now a yoga teacher. Is the universe trying to teach me something? Am I trying to teach myself a lesson by standing in front of people, teaching, communicating, sharing and educating? Perhaps I just want to communicate and I’m nervous to do so, so teaching is my way out… or in.
As I write, I’m casting my thoughts back to the time I graduated as a yoga teacher. The Hatha Teacher Training course at A Yoga Village is amazing. I learnt pose foundations and alignment, class sequencing, language skills, philosophy, anatomy, lifestyle and ethics, yoga business and much, much more. As an added bonus, A Yoga Village treated us to the most amazing vegetarian meals throughout the whole course and every student gets to attend any of the classes offered at the Village for FREE over the 10-month period. Nice!
It was very soon that graduation was upon us. I felt so blessed, and then reality sunk in. A few days after graduation, I received a call from the Village asking me if I could sub a class for one of the teachers. To say I was immediately nervous is an understatement. My heart sunk down as my stomach rose up. “Okaaay,” I murmured, “what class would you like me to sub?” “Power Yoga,” was the reply. Now the ground was opening beneath me. I was being swallowed. Swallowed in self-doubt and fear.
“Seriously, Power Yoga? You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said, “I couldn’t possibly sub that class. My goodness, I haven’t even taken that class before. No, but thanks for thinking of me.” Then I went to bed.
Yoga had given me a sleepless night. My thoughts were in turmoil. Instead of sleeping, I was arguing with myself, regretting my decision and fearing I wouldn’t get another opportunity to teach. I also knew that if I didn’t take the first step on the path offered to me, I’d never walk the path as a yoga teacher.
Then I remembered my journey through the teacher training and an understanding dawned. An awareness that came to me that I’m responsible for anything that happens in my life. An awareness that came directly from the teacher training and from an innate quality we all have within. A self-awareness that is honed like a blade of light as the lead training teachers guide you to the threshold of your ‘Self’.
In that moment, on the threshold of a possibly unpleasant first teaching experience, I understood that I’m responsible. With that thought came an understanding that everything I experience is my responsibility. Does that mean that past challenges, bad experiences and unkindness that came my way is all my fault, that I’m to blame? Absolutely not! By being responsible, it means that I am ABLE TO RESPOND to challenges, bad experiences and unkindness. I am able. I have control. I have the freedom to respond and to think any way I choose. The freedom to respond and to think about past experiences, present day situations and future challenges. The freedom to act and react. I and only I am responsible.
I chose to respond positively. That’s what it means to be free. To create your reality instead of being a victim of circumstance. That’s the strength of awareness. That’s the guiding light offered in the teaching training. The self-empowerment, confidence and trust given by the teachers. All I had to do was embrace it. Surrender. Be open to ‘Grace’.
The next day, I called back and said I’d be happy to sub that class. Happy? I was miserable with the daunting prospect of making a fool of myself and in turn, having students wondering why I was there. But that was my choice. My responsibility. It was my gift to myself to overcome my doubt and fears.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In the teacher training, you learn that fear is not real. You learn to ‘clean the dust off the mirror’ so you can see with awareness, intuition and insight. Yoga teaches us to see purity and truth.
It’s with truth that I can relate the fact that I nailed the power yoga class. Now, when I teach, I’m fully present. It’s my responsibility to be the best teacher I can be and the best student of life. To become everything I cherish and cherish what I become.
I will always be grateful for the faith A Yoga Village placed in me, as they have with all their teachers. They knew I was ready even when I doubted myself. And now when in doubt, I reflect back to the teachings of A Yoga Village and their Teacher Training Program.
I want to invite you to join me at the next Open House on August 20th at 11 am so you can learn about the next 200-Hour Hatha Teacher Training. And perhaps learn the ‘ART OF RESPONSIBILITY’, a gateway to freedom, purpose and meaning.
Peace and love,