I knew I wanted to teach yoga since the very first class I took way back in 2005. There was something so healing about the experience. Rhonda Martin, my first yoga teacher, will forever be with me. She quite literally set my life on a trajectory that wasn’t even on my radar. I had big plans of going into architecture and designing sustainable and beautiful homes. Flash forward fourteen years later, and here I am quite literally living a dream that was born out of those first weeks of learning about yoga at a community college.
After eight years of teaching yoga consistently, starting first with one class a week then slowly working my way up to the eight that I’m currently offering. I’ll admit, I’ve always been afraid of hitting a burnout point with my teaching but am pleased to say that hasn’t happened (yet). Sure, some weeks it takes a little more effort to produce a yoga sequence with a theme that feels fresh and relevant. Other weeks, I feel as if I’m on fire and the down weeks like maybe I should retire my yoga mat (kidding!). Teaching and showing up for our students is absolutely an ebb and flow as with anything. Here are a few strategies I’ve worked into my process to remain inspired for my students:
Never ever let your personal practice slip. Take as many classes as you can with as many different teachers as possible. Try my Go With the Flow class on YouTube to shake things up! This one bit of advice helps me maintain the eye of a student. I have to actively turn off my “teachers brain” and tell myself to arrive as a student, to tap into the feeling and sensations in my body. You never know what kind of sequencing or music played might shake you out of a funk. Attending workshops and even continued education yoga trainings always helps to inspire our teachings. Since I began teaching, I have attended at least one of these each year to keep things fresh and to stay on top of continued developments.
Listen to what lessons are coming up in your day-to-day life. I often find inspiration in my feelings throughout a day or week. If I’m dealing with contentment or have stress/anxiety more than likely so are my students. Remembering that we’re all in this together and more connected than we realize is a great tool. Sharing your life lessons in a relatable way with your students will also humanize you allowing them to connect with you more deeply. Meditation can be a powerful tool. Sometimes the best thing we can do is tune in to the Universe. If we can cultivate a relationship with our higher selves, often the answers to our questions become more and more clear.
Tap into your wonder
I’ve long held a deep desire to see as much of the world as possible. Traveling to unknown (to you) places can be so inspiring. Experiencing and interacting with different types of people, regions, experiencing varying climates, it all adds to this sense of wonder and endless possibility. I often find that it’s easier to feel more connected to the human side of things when I’m traveling. There is no routine, you are forced outside your comfort zone, and you get to choose the type of experience you want to have. All of these feelings so easily translate back to our yoga mats as students and teachers. Inevitably, after a trip, I come home with a fresh perspective to share. If you’re looking for a way to step out of routine, look into our Joshua Tree Spring Renewal Retreat coming up in April.
After some time you’ll be able to find inspiration almost everywhere! Good luck to you! Teaching yoga is an incredible honor.