WHAT WILL YOU BE MISSED FOR?
I have been frequenting the local YMCA for over a year and a half, and last fall, I enrolled in the yoga teacher training program. The program consists of attending a weekly exercise theory course, shadowing another teacher, attending a weekly yoga training course, and teaching your own class once a week.
My love for yoga, meditation, and spirituality has been a long-standing one.
To be able to now learn the technical aspects of each pose, the benefits, and modification options for participants is something I have come to truly enjoy. I love the challenge of providing proper detailed instructions and guiding participants through the class sequence. Like my early yoga teachers, I am now developing my own style and sharing my enthusiasm into class; bringing in some playfulness, humour, and positive messages into the experience.
The participants in the class I teach are middle-aged, mostly women, and tend to require a modified and more gentle approach to yoga. They may have a shoulder injury, back problem, or tender knee, but one thing I really enjoy is making yoga accessible to them and still seeing them feel the benefits of doing modified poses, sweating in class, and reconnecting to their breath.
At the end of June 2013, I taught my last yoga class at the YMCA.
I had told my class that I would no longer be teaching the class prior to my last day. When the day arrived, I taught the class and ended it with a special moment of silence. I got them to think of how they felt, how they would carry that feeling through the rest of their day, and repeat to themselves mentally a positive message they wanted to send to everyone else in the room.
In this moment, I also took the opportunity to thank each of them individually in my own mind. From the lady who had never done yoga before, to the elderly man who showed up every week without fail, to the lady with a shoulder problem who said my class has helped her feel less pain; I knew I was going to miss my class.
They attended my class regularly and filled the room, while other classes struggled to do so. They were my first group of participants I had ever taught yoga to, and I felt immensely grateful for them.
As I finished the class, they gave me a round of applause, and one at a time, each of them came up to me to thank me. I was so touched.
They told me why I had mattered to them, that I was a great teacher, and that they would miss me. One lady even brought me a bunch of grapes as a gift, just because she wanted to give me something healthy to thank me.
When I first started doing yoga, I secretly had a crush on my teachers and admired what they did for others. I loved the way they taught, their humour, and the positive space they created for personal growth. I wanted to be just like them.
Having just completed one year of teaching at the YMCA, and being told that I will be missed, I know that teaching yoga is now a significant part of my own journey of how I will continue to contribute to the world.
Sometimes all it takes is one person to tell you that you’re great at something for you to know that it is something you should continue with. In my case, I realized that teaching is one of my super powers.
As an ongoing teacher and student of yoga, on and off the mat, I bow to all yogis whom I have met along my path and who continue to inspire me today.
What have you been told you will be missed for? Is it one of your super powers?