Why I Teach Yoga

I teach yoga because I can. By this I mean I think that I am able to utilize my gifts of words, and my highly developed people reading and sensitivity skills in this way.

I teach yoga because it marries my introverted nature and my extroverted nature. The practice itself is introverted but the delivery of it requires a certain amount of extroversion and the ability to read people and give them what they need.

This requires listening to them, hearing them, and then trying to match my skills with what they might need.

I teach yoga because it feeds my ego. I don’t like writing that, but it is true. I don’t think anyone does anything that doesn’t feel good and boost self-esteem, so this is the activity that does that for me.

I teach yoga because I like being a conduit for change in people’s lives. I like providing and leading people into a place in their minds and their bodies where they can find out new things and contemplate new horizons.

 I like that people leave class feeling better than when they arrived.

I teach yoga because nobody has to do it. It is a voluntary  activity that they choose freely. Most people like it, even the people who are very stiff and cannot get into postures easily, if at all.

I like being an agent for change, even though I don’t like the word “agent” particularly. “Conduit” doesn’t really capture it either, but someday I will find the right word to describe my role. Actually that is what I am searching for here. I want a word that truly describes how I teach.

I am energetic in the yoga room. I think I am articulate. I hope I am inspiring. I want to be deeper in my teaching. I want to allow more space and not talk so much. I want to figure out where to go next.

I think people find out what they should be doing once they start paying attention to what they are doing. Once you start paying attention to your life, you know how to live. This is the key to everything.

In yoga we talk about it as “being the witness” and while I understand what this means now, at first it can be a very esoteric concept: Be the witness?? What?

But this is the big problem for everyone. Everyone just does. No one pays attention to the doing. But if people started paying attention to what they are doing, then they would know what they ought to be doing and what things feel good to them and when they feel like they are expressing themselves authentically in the world.

When we feel that we are expressing ourselves authentically in the world, we feel great. We feel empowered. We feel amped. We feel that we are doing what we were designed to do.

I teach yoga because I am able to focus people’s attention to what they are doing. “Pay attention to your breath,” I say. Or, “Notice when your hamstrings feel tight, or you clench your jaw.”

For an hour I help them learn how to pay attention to what they are doing. On the yoga mat. The hope is that the ability to do it on the yoga mat will translate into the ability to do it while driving a car, or making a sandwich, or working on a project.

I teach yoga because it gives me an opportunity to show people that simple practices, committed to and done everyday, or regularly, will build a powerful ability to focus and concentrate and this power will spill over into all aspects of their life. Making it more satisfying.

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