On teaching: The winding road back to White Space

I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts and wrap my head around the fact that… it’s all happening. Despite my fears and the constant anxiety that’s been my companion this June, my life is moving forward.

The plan was to get a teaching job in a studio by the time I got back from Myanmar and when I landed late May, this whole idea was still ridiculous to me. Yes I learned a lot at Bahay Kalipay and my teaching changed enormously but still… Wah.

I suppose to an outsider looking in, once you get your teacher training the natural process is that you immediately start teaching in a studio and live happily ever after in yoga bliss. The reality is, it requires a little more hustle than that.

The job is to help people know their bodies, make friends with their minds, and to create a space where people can feel like they can trust you and themselves. After graduating, I definitely didn’t feel ready for the task. To stand on a teacher’s mat felt like such an enormous responsibility to me so I did many things to get prepared. I did barter yoga and met lots of friends, taught in a gym with workout music blasting outside, went to Palawan to teach in a beautiful retreat center, cultivated relationships with private students, and along the way, formed a yoga community with my friends to benefit charity.

After all of this, I went back to Manila feeling strangely unprepared and anxious – probably the most anxious I’ve ever been since I started on this path. It was almost like these negative thoughts of “you can’t do it,” “this is stupid,” “it’s not going to happen,” were being fed to me. I’d always believed in going with the flow and, after all the love I’d felt for teaching in the past months, you’d think this trust would have gotten stronger. A delayed onset of anxiety after leaving security behind?

All of it was so alien and the struggle of working through this weird cloud of stress was very real. It was morning after morning of trudging through until finally I could go to bed and do it all over again.  Whatever it was, I felt disconnected from myself and the source of my grounding – to feel that lost after such a long time of being positive was the worst. So yeah, definitely not all yoga bliss.

What remained was the idea that I became a teacher because there are people out there just like me – people who want to learn, people who go to their yoga mat to stop feeling like the world is so heavy.

So I took a chance and did my studio demonstrations anyway, despite negativity nagging at me all the way to the studio door.  And whatever it was that was pushing me to stay true to my goals – I guess it knew what it was doing 🙂

I’m very happy to share that I’ll be teaching a Yoga Basics class at White Space, my home studio, beginning this July. I’ll also be teaching in Oasis Yoga starting July too – see my schedule here.

All the negativity didn’t just wash off after I got the invitations to teach and I definitely wouldn’t say I’m immune to it in a snap. All that’s happened is that these positive changes have reminded me why I chose to be here in the first place and after groping around in stress and insecurity, it’s a welcome affirmation that this is exactly what I should be doing right now 🙂

It’s been a winding road getting back to White Space in this new capacity, as a teacher and I’m crazy excited for what’s to come.

 


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2 thoughts on “On teaching: The winding road back to White Space

  1. Vicky Thompson says:

    Thanks for this post. It’s great to see this side of the yoga teacher. You guys can be intimidating in all your zen radiance. Congratulations and good luck! Looking forward to reading more from you 😀

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