Several years ago, I got my 200 hour Vinyasa yoga certification. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever teach but it was a way to spend hours learning about something I loved and a way to deepen my practice. Plus, my bestie wanted to do it and we thought it’d be fun to go through teacher training together….and it was. It wasn’t all fun and games, though. It was much harder than we expected but totally worth it. She’s a great teacher and I’m a still a happy — yet better — student.
I’ve only taught a couple of classes and have been trying to figure out if I want to teach or not…and if I do, what kind of teacher I want to be. When I was in Key West, I got a Facebook message from a fellow yogi asking me to sub for her this coming Saturday. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I sat on the message for an entire day before responding because it stirred up all kinds of questions. The biggest being…did I even want to teach?
I wish I could explain it. I love practicing yoga, especially Vinyasa. I love the flow…the union between body and breath…the music…and especially my teachers. But I’ve struggled with picturing myself regularly leading a class. It’s not that I’m afraid to speak in front of people – far from it. It’s not that I don’t know the material…or aren’t capable of putting together a thoughtful practice.
For a while I thought it was because I wanted to be a more playful teacher…not so serious. So I went to two workshops to learn to teach kids. It rocked! The thought of being silly with a room full of kids and teaching them yoga through stories, song, and games seemed to stir something inside me – probably my inner child. It was a lovely union between instruction and play. Knowing how much yoga had benefited me as an adult made me excited to see how it could benefit children. I put some feelers out to teach but never heard back. So I put it on the back burner…or rather, my other obligations pushed me to put it on the back burner and there it still sits.
So there I was…on vacation…with an invitation to teach a 75 minute Vinyasa class to adults in a beautiful studio. I thought about saying no…but didn’t have a good reason to, so I said yes.
Today I spent most of the afternoon working on sequencing after spending a good deal of Saturday building a play list. After investing several hours and mentally planning out how I would spend the rest of the week refining the class, I realized that I really don’t like building a Vinyasa class. I don’t like planning out all the transitions between postures…all the inhale/exhale verbal queues…constantly reminding people to breath with every movement. I realized I love the practice but don’t want to teach it. Now, this may change come Saturday after I’ve taught, but I don’t see myself wanting to invest this much time into planning a sequence and transitions between poses. I think I rather spend the time putting together a lesson plan for kids…or just teaching postures, more like a Hatha or Yin.
When I look back, I’ve never really been able to picture myself leading a class beyond the centering at the beginning. If I paid more attention to my own advice, I’d have realized that I can’t picture doing it because it’s not something that I want to do. It kinda sucks to admit that you don’t want to do something all your friends do…and do really well. At least I figured it out before committing to teach regularly! The last thing I want to do is commit myself to something that isn’t in my heart…whether a job…a man…anything. In trying to figure out what I want, I’m realizing a lot about what I don’t want.
And if you’re planning to go to the Saturday class, don’t worry…I will bring my A game and it will be a great class! When I’m in…I’m all in.