Almost immediately after posting yesterday, I felt a sense of relief….any then it was gone. As so many supportive comments started rolling in from so many lovely yoginis — Nicole, Kristin, Angi, Jill, Shannon, Tess, Staraya, and Jole — I took a step back…a little farther back…and a little more time…to consider what I was feeling. It wasn’t relief…or regret…I couldn’t put my finger on it. Was it really that I didn’t want to teach? Or was it something else?
See, I’ve always enjoyed teaching people. The very first thing I remember wanting to be as a child was a teacher. The palm reader even said I’m a natural teacher, and I did really well in my teacher training. So why don’t I want to teach now?
As I read the comments from so many friends (that I also consider great teachers), I started to notice a common thread in their responses. They don’t spend hours (or days) planning classes. They have an idea or two going in but they trust their training and their instincts, and they just go with it. They trust themselves…and they trust their students.
I don’t think the issue is so much that I don’t want to teach as much as it’s a battle with perfection. In my head, I built up this expectation (damn there’s that word again) that I needed to be perfect. I needed to build and deliver the perfect class. I mean, my teachers are perfect so I should be too, if I’m going to be teaching, right!?!
Their classes are always great. They never mess up….I mean, sure sometimes they get confused with right or left. And sometimes they may forget a pose or an entire sequence on one side. Or maybe their music doesn’t work or isn’t my taste. Sometimes they get tongue tied…or lose their words altogether. But it doesn’t matter, because I still think they are perfect.
So I realized it’s not that I don’t like preparing for a class, really. What I don’t like is the pressure I was putting on myself. It reminded me of a life I left behind. A life where almost every day I felt the need to be perfect. The voice in the back of my head said if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t be as valuable…and if I wasn’t as valuable, I could be replaced…and if I could be replaced, I could be fired…and if I could be fired, I could lose my house…and if I could lose my house, well, you get the picture. That voice started again — not as dramatic, but there it was. I didn’t trust myself.
I have no idea if I’ll like teaching or not. I won’t know until after I do it on Saturday. What I do know is that I know how to teach…and I know how to have fun. I also know that if I mess up, no one will die. This is yoga. I’m not transplanting organs. I’ll be prepared and the class will be perfect…because perfect lies in the imperfections. Perfect is being human…and for me that means being vulnerable. THAT, I can trust myself to be.
When I heard this song today, it all made sense. Joshua wrote the song after reading Bob Dylan’s biography and being frustrated that his friends were making it big in the music business yet he was still struggling. Dylan said to lose all envy and fear from your heart. Radin wrote this song and figured playing it each night would be the best reminder.
So maybe it’s not that I don’t want to teach…maybe it was just that my ego took over and I got scared. I forgot that being the best me I can be is all I can really ever hope to be. I forgot to trust myself…that I got this. No more pressure…no envy….and no fear. Namaste 🙂