Am I a yoga fraud?
When I worked in my previous corporate world as a marketing manager, my peers and I often used to have conversations about what we labelled being a ‘professional fraud’. In the world of marketing and PR, there were times when I used to think to myself this stuff is common sense, anyone can do it, am I really more knowledgable than anyone else, am I blagging it…am I a professional fraud?
The answer, actually is no, I was very good at my job and not everyone does understand marketing as you think they might but it took me many years to get confident enough in my abilities to know this.
However, I find the same thing plagues me now in my life as yoga teacher and studio owner.
Am I a good teacher? Do I really know my stuff? Am I blagging it? Am I a yoga teacher fraud?
These thoughts all hit me last week when I was editing the teacher training manual for my course that is about to start next month and as I procrastinated browsing instagram I flicked past an image of a yogi rocking a forearm stand, the next pic was of ‘yoga girl’ on her teaching tour in LA, teaching a room of 600 students! I read Seane Corn’s wisdom bites and sat in awe of her knowledge. And so on…
I’ve made me position clear on instagram yogis before, and I only now follow people I find inspiring but the images and messages I flicked past on this day did the opposite. They filled me with doubt about my own abilities.
Here’s my satya (truth):
I hate forearm stand. My shoulders never feel good in it. I know I should practice it but I continue to avoid it.
I still can’t handstand in the middle of the room despite it being a new years resolution to master it every year.
I don’t practice everyday because some days life with a toddler leaves me exhausted and when he naps, so do I.
I have not yet read the Hatha Yoga Pradipika despite meaning to for years.
In summary I don’t know everything about yoga.
Last night I listened to a podcast with Jivamukti teacher Jessica Stickler talking about her teaching and her practice. I love Jessica. I have practiced with her in New York and Sydney and regularly do her podcast classes at home. As I listened to her chat, I was so inspired, it felt like the first time I walked into the Jivamukti studio and my brain went BOOM! this is the practice I’d been seeking.
In the 37 minute podcast I was reminded why I love teaching. It goes way way beyond the asana. Yoga as a holistic practice keeps me sane, inspires me, educates me and leaves me hungry to know more. If I can share what I know of the practice with my students, maybe they will be encouraged to feel the same way. What an amazing gift to offer, I am so blessed.
She also reminded me why I love being a student. Yes, I have so much to learn, but wouldn’t it be boring if I didn’t? What an amazing privilege to be able to study and learn something about the world and myself everyday.
So, as with my corporate career, I have come to the conclusion that I am a good teacher with a lot to offer. And I still have a lot to learn.
Thank you Jessica for the reminder. Thank you yoga for the life lessons. Thank you to all my teachers who continue to inspire me on and off the mat. And thank you forearm stand and handstand for being my nemesis, you have a lot to teach me I think.