How Yoga Entered My Life + 4 Tips for New Teachers.

I arrived in Anchorage, Alaska in 2008 to stay with my aunt and uncle.  I rode the escalator down waiting in anticipation to see their faces.  I had jet black hair, had gained a few pounds and was covered from head to toe in a black ensemble.  My face was stained with a frown and if anyone asked, "how are you?" I started to cry.

A few days prior to that trip, I had found out that I guy I'd been on and off with since 2003 had cheated with a girl I used to consider a pretty good friend.  The "pretty good friend," showed me texts from him asking her to keep their "friendship" on the down low.  There were other texts with him complimenting her features and calling her sexy, things I consider not to be okay when you are in a relationship.

I was depressed, lost + pissed.  My aunt and uncle took me into their home and told me I could stay as long as I wanted/needed too.  So there I stayed for one month, doing yoga from a DVD, going for bike rides, using walking sticks on hikes and healing my heart in any healthy way possible.

When I returned home, I went to the Dave Matthews Band concert at the Gorge, a decade-long tradition.  I was a new person.  I had this inner glow that yoga brought out in me.

That was 2008, in 2011, I started teaching.  First to friends and family for practice, than at a friends dance studio, a couple YMCA's, hot yoga studios, gyms + later private sessions.

To be 100% honest, I still get the same "performance anxiety" even after teaching for 4 years.  There are days when I want to sub out a class because I've convinced myself I don't know enough and no one will like me.  I've learned how to talk myself into believing I am a good teacher and even though I'm not big on Sanskrit or advanced poses, I still have a great spirit to offer.

If you are a new teacher and scared out of your mind, maybe this will help you:

  • Practice.  Over and over.  Practice transitions that make sense to you.  Moves you don't have to google, but just come naturally, one after the other.
  • Find music that gets YOUR face smiling.  You will attract the people who like the same type and you'll feel like you are with "your people."
  • Play pump up music before class.  I drop some heavy beats at a high volume to pump myself up and it gets me excited to teach!
  • Get there early to find parking and just sit in your car to visualize a great class from beginning to end.

Yoga comes to people for life, for a phase or just to meet someone new.  It has healed so many people and personally, brought me out of a deep depression.  If you or someone you know needs a loving, meditative flow, check it out.