The Hallmark of Teaching

June 1st marks the second year of teaching yoga and I have to say, my life has been flipped around, tossed and turned, cleaned up and folded neatly like laundry since. I’ve discovered a path that I never thought I’d go down or  learn so much about myself. There are few things that I choose to dedicate myself to because of the flexible and curious personality that I have, and so I find myself fleeting from one interest to another. But when I come across something that has the potential to transform me, I pour my heart in it till the glass is full.

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I knew that the yoga practice would have that potential and it continues to satisfy that, but teaching exceeds my expectation. Teaching has opened up such incredible opportunities like travel, teacher training, working with Lululemon, Landmark, creating a DVD, meeting amazing people and so much more. But on the level of self and evolution, the drive and passion I have for the path of teaching has propelled me to be a person I did not imagine I could be.

By nature, my predisposition is to be introverted. I enjoy time alone and doing things by myself, like going to movies or spending my weekends inside. I prefer to have one on one conversation and avoid parties or big social gatherings. I could live in a cave, as long as there’s central heating. Teaching yoga develops an act of extroversion that would otherwise be inauthentic if asked to be that way outside of my teaching environment. It’s just not in my comfort zone, but teaching somehow is.

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I step into the room knowing that I am called to outwardly express myself, for the sake of the student’s experience and my inward nature gets out of its way in order to do so. In fact, I feel my time alone seeks balance and wants to be around people, and when in that environment, my heart is fully present to listen. What does this student need and what is she really saying when she says she’s busy and stressed? How can I help this raw beginner feel at home in a place that might be foreign and physically intimating?

dsc_1052Now, with a target in mind, of who I want to be and what I want to do, a majority of my energy goes towards continually becoming a more effective teacher. As a consequence, my focus is placed on the material realm of manifestation and creation. In contrast to my past years of traveling, I am nostalgic of the days spent in contemplation and meditation, of a deep yearning for an inner truth and a connection with Divinity. A lot of that has been lost due to my own lack of action, but I currently feel a connection that I didn’t experience before. And that is a healthy connection with the modern world.

Beautiful-Night-Shot-of-Gastown-Downtown-Vancouver-PhotoThe experience of teaching has helped me to be more compassionate, really see a person for who they are, not their body, not even their mind. With that comes the clarity around no longer reading a story about them, but experiencing life with them, and from that, a much deeper level of relationship, respect and genuine care for each other has happen. The commitment to teaching grounds me to willingly settle in the western world and has given me a higher appreciation for the family I live with, the technology that I interact with, the lap of luxuries I’m pampered with and the growing pains of society I’m beginning to empathize with.

Although I’m nostalgic of those days of being the freedom traveler in a trance with universal flow (in which I considered to be my sense of spirituality), the tangible result of connecting with the divinity in human beings draws me right back to the present reality. It is not that spending less time in meditation with the names of God or reading books of western mysticism has made me less spiritual, I have just found that time spent enhancing the spiritual experience in a physical body has made life real and enjoyable under the current circumstances in which I live in.

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I attribute much of my present way of being to my two years of teaching, and really, I don’t feel I have much that’s worthy of teaching. The immersion in the role of a teacher simply requires me to realize a higher potential and this excites me. This could be fulfilled through any endeavour, be it skydiving or becoming a chef de cuisine, but as of now, I recognize this in teaching for me, and I am continually overwhelmed in delight and surprise and indebted to a lifttime of gratitude for this extraordinary path I am given. May you and I continue to be inspired by the teachings that life so generously reveals in profoundly auspicious ways.

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