Three Lessons From Teaching Yoga

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I recently had my 5th anniversary of teaching yoga. I’m a big believer in celebrating milestones, or really, celebrating anything. And why not? Life is short, so finding things to celebrate daily brings me a lot of joy. To celebrate this particular milestone, I threw my local yoginis a party at my house. I called it “Wine and Chi” and we had a gentle yoga sequence outdoors, followed by Happy Hour on the deck with wine and cheese. It was so much fun to celebrate with them, and it was my way of thanking them for putting up with me for five years. Five years goes by fast. I’ve been thinking back on my progress a lot lately and there are three major things I’ve learned in those five years. If you’re a yoga instructor, you’ll find yourself nodding along, but whatever your occupation is, these three things can surely relate to you.

1. Go With The Flow
There are so many things you can control when you plan and teach a class. And then there’s the rest of it. Realizing that a great deal of any given class is out of my control has been a wonderful lesson. I can spend tons of time planning the sequencing, the poses, the theme, the intention, the meditation, the music... but a lot of class is simply out of my hands. I have absolutely no idea exactly who will show up, their moods, how their day went, how the weather will be, etc. Learning to adapt to the situation and not get frazzled by aborting my plan is just part of teaching. I teach at a community center, so I can plan the most beautiful sequencing and have an amazing playlist... then show up for class and there may be an event going on downstairs where we can hear the DJ announcing raffle tickets the entire time. So the lesson here is: Prepare thoughtfully, show up and then do your best. It all works out.

2. Don’t Expect Perfection
This lesson has helped me not only in class, but in the rest of my life. I’m sure those closest to me would laugh heartily and agree. 🙂 

Before every single class I teach, I remind myself: I’m not the perfect yoga instructor. I do not teach to perfect people. The place I teach is not perfect (can we ever get the temperature right in there?!?!). So... to expect class to go perfectly is absolutely ridiculous. If you expect perfection from anything, you are going to be disappointed. 

3. Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously
When things don’t go perfectly, laugh. When things are funny, laugh. Our classes are laid back, fun, and we laugh a lot. Laughing makes everything better. 

•••
One could very well argue that these three lessons are actually all kind of the same thing. They all go together and come full circle. Anyway, I hope you laugh a lot today and find something to celebrate. 

Namaste 🙂

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