Why I Teach Yoga

I left yoga class in tears today.

They were tears of gratitude. I felt profoundly grateful upon leaving class; not because my ego said I “got it right.” And not because I earned a ton of money. It was because I had a crappy day at my full time job. I felt desolate and empty, but I knew that teaching would wipe that feeling out, leaving me refreshed and refilled. It always does.

When I’m a student taking class, I have come to accept that whatever I need will most likely be offered to me in yoga. If it’s a sub for the teacher I thought would be there, if it’s a ninety minute class and I thought it was sixty, all will be well. I just have to open to the offerings and accept them.  Of course, there may be times I don’t connect with a teacher, with the style, or the theme of class. That’s all okay.  There are times I can’t be in the moment as much as I should.  I sometimes still keep my angst about that mean email, the thing I argued with my daughter about, or the guy who cut me off with his Camaro on the way in. Yoga helps me through all that, and if I’m present, it allows me to let it go. But there are certainly times that I don’t, or can’t, or won’t.

It’s different when I teach.

As a teacher I am present, I am in the moment. I have to be. I have the responsibility of guiding people in a practice, making them feel acknowledged, and being sure they don’t hurt their bodies. It’s an enormous thing even though it may seem small. It’s the reason I try to learn more, taking training after training, soaking up what I can so I can give more.

And I have come to realize that teaching yoga fulfills me the way nothing else in my life can do. I have found my home. I have found my tribe.

I have found a tool to battle the insecurities that plague me and the self-doubt monkeys that are always chattering in my brain. Through kind mentorship and others who allow me to try, to create, to make mistakes, and to recover, I have strengthened my voice and steadied my stance.

It’s why I practice yoga.

It’s why I teach.

About catnipkiss

I am a writer who is working on a travel memoir. I write about issues that speak to my soul: love, sex, yoga, spirituality, body image, dating and friendship, and more as it comes up! I love comments - thanks! What would YOU like to explore?
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2 Responses to Why I Teach Yoga

  1. sandra mcdonald says:

    hello sister of eric , (a boy and his dog) as i knew him once upon a time in key west . . .
    i just learned of his passing, and read your lovely tribute.
    my condolences to you. i hope that hearing from a stranger from so far across the years does not disturb your peace or privacy.
    i was acquainted with eric via the green parrot initially and then as friends for the time i lived in key west. he had a great intuition when to show up for a friend in need, and i have always remembered his kindness, silliness and his great foolish grins : )
    the last time i saw him, he had helped us finish packing our truck as my friend and i left key west for new mexico in 1989.
    a few years later, i had a boyfriend in jamestown colorado, and on the road up to lefthand canyon, i would pass a mailbox with “bissell” painted on it, and i would always think of eric, wonder if our paths would ever cross again, and if the owners of the mailbox might be related, in this small world of ours.
    then along came the internet and once upon a google, i saw that eric had also landed here in new mexico . so it seemed hopeful, even likely that our paths would cross again . . . things happen that way here in the land of enchantment.
    but alas, the years wheeled by and cross they never did, and i am so sorry to have missed out.
    many years later, which is recently, i met a chaplaincy student at the zen center where i work with close to the same name as your brother. his great spirit and kind heart once again reminded me of your eric.
    so tonight, autofill in my search for eric b’s blog led me to the sad news of your brother’s passing…
    and i felt compelled to write.
    i hope that reading my fond memories brings a smile to you,
    respectfully bowing,

    • catnipkiss says:

      Hi Sandra – it was so nice to read your message. I miss Eric every damn day. He was so special. My mom passed the following year and we created a Day of the Dead altar for them both at the museum in October (2017). If you know Terri (his wife/widow) she is back in Florida now. Thank you for the sweet memories of my brother. He was special to a lot of people, and that’s a good legacy. – Cathy

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