Monday, August 27, 2012

Why I Teach...

I do love my job.  However, being a yoga teacher is sort of an odd career choice.  I spend a large portion of my day telling folks where to place their feet and hands and where to look.  I touch sweaty bodies all day.  Clients regularly confide in me about their struggles, drop their drawers to show me injuries, and openly discuss all sorts of private ailments and issues typically reserved for doctors and therapists.  I am constantly reminding people to breathe and babbling in Sanskrit, saying impossibly complicated things like "utthita hasta padangustasana," when all I really want is for everyone to pick up their leg and grab their big toe.  And that's an odd thing, when you think about it- getting paid for wanting people to do such things.  I live in sweats and spandex.  Square hips, healthy sacrums, and perfectly "flointed" feet make me swoon.  I am faced daily with the conundrum of trying to live simply & humbly as a yogi but having to constantly self-promote via Facebook, mass emails, etc. to make a good living.

On the other hand, nothing I have ever done has brought me more pride and gratitude than teaching.  My students have taught me far more over the years than I have taught them.  They have given me support and love and laughter when I needed it.  Watching their practices grow is a constant source of joy.  My students are my extended family, and I rarely, if ever, wake up and think, "I don't want to go to work today."

A couple of years ago, I began leading teacher trainings at Yoga Loft in Manhattan Beach.  Last year, I teamed up with my dear friend and amazing teacher, Shelley Williams, to form Yoga Mittra, a teaching training school offering both 200-hour and 500-hour Yoga-Alliance-registered programs.  I am frequently asked by fence-straddling potential trainees, "I just don't know.  It's a lot of time, and a lot of money.  Should I do this?"

If you are thinking about becoming a yoga teacher, all I can say is that it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  If you have any reservations, they will be laid to rest the first time one of your students comes up to you and says, "Thank you for helping me."  As a yoga teacher, you have the capacity to turn someone's day around and make them feel a little better--if just for a moment.  Further, your students' gratitude and progress has the potential to turn your day around.  The yoga teacher-student relationship is one of the most trusting and mutually-respectful I have ever encountered.  What greater gift is there, really?

And now for the inevitable shameless plug:  

For more info regarding Yoga Mittra and our various courses, please visit  


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