Before becoming a yoga instructor, I noticed how impactful teachers are and can be to others. What led me to yoga initially was the mindfulness and philosophy aspects and then it opened up to how my body could benefit from it. Back then I read a lot of self-help books that instilled developing a broader perspective and how life isn’t just a bunch of mistakes. I was drawn to the esoteric world at a very young age. I guess it is in part because I was exposed to it with my grandmother, who was in a sense a curandera. I remember she used to cure me of the evil eye with a raw egg, fan parsley over my body, and always have a home remedy for everything. As a child I used to get annoyed at all of the “crazy” things she used to do. Little did I know how much I would grow to love this about her. But yoga was always an action to me and I got turned off by teachers who pushed their views and ideas onto others. For me I focused on how they showed their yoga through actions, how they exhibited it.
As a yoga teacher, I now have a huge responsibility. When I teach, not only do I make sure I keep bodies safe, but I also have to make sure I don’t push my own views and ideas down peoples throats. Being a yoga teacher comes with a platform for which you are given to communicate the beauty and life of yoga BUT this platform can also get tricky. With this platform comes responsibility and humility. Unfortunately more often than not I feel that this platform gets abused. With the rise of social media and free advertising I’ve seen the ego being the forefront of yoga. The ease of followers like never before, doing just that, people out there following without questioning. Following every word, every routine, diet, and philosophy. I used to work at a yoga studio and I witnessed a lot of this. I saw how people quickly accepted everything that came from their teacher they admired and looked up to. Its understandable, you trust this person, you’ve learned a lot from this person and then suddenly your perspective starts to dim and embody someone else’s. Don’t get it twisted, I am not in the least excluding myself of this. I’ve slipped up in classes too, explaining philosophy can get sticky, teaching with conviction can come off as arrogant and so on. Becoming aware of this is key, almost like when teachers say, “Check your egos at the door”, teachers should do the same.
A big myth people hold true is that yoga teachers have it all together. One can even say, that it’s complicated as a teacher having the “I should’ve known better syndrome.” Yoga teachers are still human with judgments, ideals, perspectives, bad days, crappy attitudes, etc. As a yoga instructor I personally have a big problem with this ongoing urban legend. I am not enlightened, I experience struggles, and I make mistakes too. I want to proclaim this from the tops of the mountains and debunk the myth. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly with people. Life is an ebb and flow, we have highs and lows and I feel like authenticity is important. I feel like we need more of the real, raw, vulnerable aspects because people can relate to that. I try to be as authentic as I can and honestly even writing what “I” do bothers me because that’s not what this is about. This is my opinion, and its ok if others don’t have to agree.
At the end of the day my goal as a teacher is to provoke students to go within, to question everything, take that which resonates and make it your own experience.