What a journey it’s been since yoga first became part of my life. I could have never predicted how the practice would change me or what a huge part of my life it would eventually become.
I took my very first yoga class on January 18, 2011. I graduated from my very first yoga teacher training on December 30, 2012. Since then, I have expanded my knowledge by participating in dozens of trainings, immersions, retreats, workshops, and private lessons, benefiting both my personal practice and my teaching. As of 2020, I have taught over 5,000 hours of yoga in the form of group classes, workshops, trainings, retreats, immersions, and one-on-one sessions.
I look back on my journey that led me to where I am right now, and I feel so proud of everything I have accomplished. I feel grateful for all of my teachers to be a recipient of their guidance. I feel privileged to be in a situation where "following your dream" could be a real thing, and feel lucky to be surrounded by so many people who support the chase.
Teaching yoga might be the most rewarding job in the entire world, but it's a hustle. It's a tough way to financially support yourself. It’s a true talent to hold space for people and to teach people what it's like to be in their own bodies, and that talent requires a lot of energy and attention. In order to become a better yoga teacher, most days I feel like I need to spend ten more years in school to become both a psychologist and a physical therapist.
Over the years, the practice of yoga has taught me so many great lessons, and the greatest lesson of all for me has been learning to pay closer attention. I don't just mean stop and smell the roses, although I do mean that, too. I mean, really paying attention. How do I feel? Am I happy? Why is this my default reaction to this situation? How do I process these intense feelings? Can I change my way of thinking?
I initially approached teaching yoga in a really egotistical way, hoping to receive praise and approval from the students in my class, the owners of the studio, as well as from my own yoga teachers. I was desperately wanting to fill a big empty void in my soul with the love and attention from others.
What’s been interesting for me to reflect on is that I am no longer seeking the approval and attention of others. Don't get me wrong, it still warms my heart to receive a compliment from a student after class, but the meaning behind it is very different now than it once was.
There is so much freedom in wanting someone’s feedback, but not their approval.
Teaching yoga became simply about teaching yoga, and not the void filler or approval seeking experience it used to be. It became about finding an authentic connection with the yoga practice and finding ways to teach others how to find their own connection to the practice.
What a beautiful experience it is to be comfortable in your own skin; to not seek outside approval as a means to feel whole.
Through meditation, journaling, working with my therapist, and a boat load of self reflecting, I realized that practicing yoga is more important to me than teaching yoga. What I really mean is, in order to be a great yoga teacher, I have to be a great yoga student, and I felt like I was missing opportunities to dive deeper into my practice.
I was craving being in the role of a student, beyond the routine of my daily practice, and found that many of the student related immersive experiences I wanted to participate in felt unavailable to me due to time and money limitations related to being a yoga teacher. I ultimately decided that I wanted some freedom in my ability to practice more and the most sensible way to find freedom was to find a different job...which is exactly what I did.
I’m happy to report that teaching yoga is no longer my main source of income. I’m also happy to report that I no longer work on weekends, will be paid when there is a holiday and when I am sick and when I take a vacation. I’m happiest to report that I am only teaching yoga because I want to and not because I financially need to. What a joy! I feel so grateful.
It was a challenging decision to make, especially after spending almost a decade building my self-employed, yoga-focused career. It was heartbreaking to say goodbye to studios and classes where I have spent thousands of hours with students who I love, adore, and respect; some of whom have become my closest friends, roommates, and travel buddies.
I feel eternally grateful for every single person I have crossed paths with in this journey. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting me. Thank you for showing up on your yoga mat to practice with me. Thank you for trusting me to be your yoga teacher. My life is better because of people like you.
What a ride it’s been for me! A true pleasure. The most humbling, gratifying career in the entire world.
Although you won’t find me teaching the same large quantity of classes as in years past, I will still be teaching weekly yoga classes and an occasional monthly event, as well as yearly yoga retreats. Check out my schedule to see where and when you can practice with me.
I look forward to seeing you again very soon.
With love and gratitude,