“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, alistening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, allof which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo Buscaglia
For the past two Saturdays, I have been sharing restorative yoga with a great group of people! It's been a real delight for me to teach in this way even with all the work, love and attention that it requires. I am enjoying the change personally and everyone seems to really be enjoying the sweet depths of Restorative yoga. Real rest seems to be a foreign concept to most, and seeing people do just that is quite a gift. Everyone looks so different after class: shoulders relaxed, eyes bright, calm and clear in their presence, and all their hard edges have been softened.
In deciding to go for offering this series, I really just wanted to do something I felt was needed. For a while now, I have a had a strong feeling and lots of little signs and recurring messages that were pointing me in this direction of teaching and in utilizing my gifts. I am glad I am paying attention and am glad I went for it with or without a full certification.
I want to get certified as a Relax and Renew teacher and am aiming for this October since last fall did not work out. I am craving an opportunity to immerse myself as a student and learn and grow in different ways. I am ready for that and soon the timing will be better for such things. As for now, what I know is enough to take care of the people that I am get to share my time with. And if there is one thing I do know about myself, it is that I care. Also, I am really good at taking care of people so this all works out quite well. At least I have some clarity in this realm.
You see, I do not view myself as just a class instructor; I view myself as a guide and helper on the path. I know that it is my job to create a safe, sacred space for students to come and practice in. I know that everyone comes in with something they need to heal or let go of, change or grieve, or celebrate and just be in good company for a while. Community is so important. And positive, truly caring company is vital to people's wellbeing. We don't realize that we need that until we've felt like we are part of something and loved just the way we are.
So it matters to me to be honest when I teach, to trust what I am inspired by and feel a strong urge to do even if the end product is not perfect, and even if what I am teaching has or has not been done. I think this is one of the greatest things I have learned over the years as I have walked this path. Be Authentic. Be Real. Be willing to bare your heart and make lots and lots of mistakes, fall down and get back up again and again and again. Because as you or I make mistakes, fall down, get back up and show up anyway, something shifts and this is when the real learning and growth occurs.
What I know for sure, nearly 10 years in, that if I am staying centered in my heart and letting service be the way, then what comes is right. Meaning, the message or teaching that wants to come through is there for somebody who needs it right then. Teaching is not about perfection, or superb, creative sequencing, thorough knowledge about yoga philosophy and history, or about knowing how to say or spell every Sanskrit word correctly. I am not saying that these things don't matter or help because they do. But just because you know all the Sanskrit names or you are a whiz at yoga philosophy and history does not instantly make you a good teacher. Because when it comes right down to it, teaching is about connecting with your students, and, ultimately, it's about caring about the people who come to spend their time with you once a week or several times a week. And, I would add to this, that having all the technical aspects of teaching down does not mean that one has learned how to teach in an authentic, heart-centered way. These things take time.
Teaching with heart matters. Otherwise, a yoga class is just another exercise class.
Take Great Care,