Yoga teacher training: one year on

One year teaching.jpg
It is better to risk starving to death than surrender. If you give up on your dreams, what’s left?
— Jim Carrey

One year ago today I taught my first yoga class after completing my yoga teacher training in Thailand, an incredibly transformative experience and one of the defining moments of my life. It’s fresh in my mind as if it were only yesterday, yet much time has passed; so what has become of me since then?


Like with any great life change, there were transitions which needed to be managed and uncharted territory to be navigated, much of which continues to this day. Moving from full-time to part-time work whilst trying to set up classes, changing jobs, moving house, getting a dog, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my new-found knowledge and constantly learning. Sometimes it’s surreal, often it’s uncomfortable, many times it’s liberating but more than anything, it’s difficult to stay grounded.


I have to remind myself often why I’m doing this, what is important to me, the hard work and sacrifices on my part just to get to this point I am now. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the minutiae and become jaded by a seeming lack of progress, that it’s even more important to remain rooted in the big picture, your big “why”.


The freedom to decide how I spend my time and structure my day. That’s why I do this. The opportunity to be creative in new and exciting ways. That’s why I do this. Doing things which scare me and coming out the other side. That’s why I do this. Learning and growing and inspiring. That’s why I do this. Seeing the joy in a person’s face when they have a breakthrough, when they tell me what an impact I’ve had on their day, how they look forward to this practice. That is why I do this.


There has been progress and there have been setbacks. I’ve set up classes, I’ve cancelled classes, I’ve led a workshop, I’ve cancelled a workshop (but I do have another workshop coming up), I’ve dipped in and out of teaching professionals, my colleagues, my friends and total strangers, and even though it often feels like two steps forward, one step back, I am still moving forward.


To sound horribly cliché, progress is not linear, and more often than not it is painstakingly slow. It can be so frustrating, especially if you just want to get to the part where you’re good at something, like I often do. Sometimes I struggle with being a beginner. At YTT, I remember thinking (and saying) how desperate I was to get to the part where I was comfortable in my teaching, where I wasn’t nervous and awkward, where I had developed my teaching style etc. One of my teachers told me not to wish this time away, to try to jump ahead, that it would come with time. And of course, he was right.


I am at a point in my teaching now where I can truly enjoy it. And looking back over this past year, I see how very blessed I am. Everything I’ve asked for has been given to me and I have some wonderfully positive achievements to be proud of. I have a successful weekly class which I love teaching. I’ve attended more training courses. I led my first workshop which was amazing. I went to Santorini to teach with Namaslay® YTT which was indescribably awesome. These are opportunities that I could barely dream of a year ago, which never would have crossed my path had I not opened the door by taking a risk. The risk of change.


I’m not going to sit here and tell you once you find your purpose and follow your dream, everything becomes easy and straightforward. That could not be farther from the truth. However, opportunities will materialise, situations made to test you so you can learn and grow will spring up everywhere you look and even when you feel like you are contributing nothing of value, there will be people around you who will remind you with a few simple words how much of an impact you are having on their lives, how the mere fact that you had the courage to follow your heart is the most inspiring thing of all.


If you are that person who feels stuck and is desperately seeking a way out or you feel drawn to a calling, know that consistent work is involved. Know that persistence, often in the face of slow progress, is necessary. Know that you must have a very strong reason for wanting to do this. Know that what you’re doing is not the norm of society, and you will often feel alone in trying to figure out how to make it work. Know also, that you are a shining example to those around you. Know that you are creating something from the ground up and building the life you always dreamed of. Know that you are growing with each mistake, each lesson, each frustration. And know that no matter what, you must do this, because to not do so would be to go against nature, it would tear at the very fabric of your being. Know that this is who you are and that you are destined for greatness. Don’t believe, know, that you deserve and are worthy of a life filled with your every desire. And know with all your heart, that the power of the universe lies in your hands.


There are still some spots left for the upcoming EARTHrestore: rest and recharge workshop and if you’re quick, you can still be in with a chance of receiving a swag bag from our lovely eco-friendly partners!