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Becoming a yoga teacher was never one of my life ambitions.
For over five years, my yoga practice brought me joy and fulfillment, but solely from my studentship. Teachers had always intrigued me with their beauty, strength, confidence and presence, but to actually become a yoga teacher seemed like entering a different realm — one that I thought could not possibly be as blissful as the space on my favorite coral-colored yoga mat.
But every now and then I would think about what it would be like to lead a class, spreading pieces of possibility and shining smiles to all the students. I would cue and they would flow, moving with ease to the perfect music I was playing that matched all the perfect words I was saying.
But then my daydreams would subside, and I would find myself happy to only be responsible for my own moves, my own mind. Why would I want to teach anyway? It would take up so much time. When would I get to do my practice? If I was teaching, I wouldn’t be learning.
But are the two job descriptions — writer and yoga teacher — really that dissimilar? As a writer, my true calling has always been found in the power of connection and inspiration, traits any good yoga teacher should possess. I like to set my own schedule, travel a lot, wear comfy clothes and work in bare feet. I love sharing my insights and experiences, spreading words of wisdom wherever I go.
So, yes, now I am not only a writer. My career of word crafting has united with my passion for movement.
This morning, I witnessed Spring clutching her most radiant bouquet as I walked with her in the company of a new day. I watched the rising sun stretch its rays over the awakening horizon as I hiked up the back of a shady, cool ridge. The soft light crept its way across the city beneath me and slowly made its way up to warm my skin.
It’s raining. The tears are streaming from my glass panes and I cannot see clearly. I knew there was a forecast for difficult conditions, but I wasn’t expecting this downpour.
It’s not the unpredictable that I don’t like. Give me sun, snow, rain or wind, and I can stand tall and adjust my layers accordingly. Any element that surprises me is just another opportunity to show strength, perseverance and flexibility.
The harsh tones of your alarm clock blare beside your bed and you can hardly believe it’s the start of another day. Your bleary gaze moves to the window, where the dense fog and darkness whisper that the sun is still sleeping soundly. You too are not yet ready to rise, to encounter the chill lingering outside the goose-feather comforter that wraps you tightly in a cozy cocoon.
As autumn days get colder, we move our gatherings inside, to the coziness and comfort of enclosed spaces. The warmth in our homes comes from more than crackling fireplaces and steaming cups of tea. It comes from the people we surround ourselves with and bring into our vacant spaces. The genial sounds of wet boots squeaking on tile and the shuffle of jackets being hung to dry. Hugs and handshakes exchanged, smiles rising between rosy red cheeks.
I look back at my reflection as I stand on my mat in Tadasana, Mountain Pose. The mirror is only large enough to offer balance and alignment to one person in the room, and since I am the only one here, there is no need for another. A familiar teacher’s voice is riding the breath of my laptop hum as she says to “fold forward and place your fingers around your big toes.” I listen, move, breathe. This is my new yoga studio. It’s in a room thousands of miles away from where I began practicing yoga, but the practice still feels close to home.
The sidewalks have become quieter and the parks a little less playful. After the swirl of summer camping trips and beach house vacations, we find ourselves retreating back to a place we call home. Back to school and back to work, life will begin to resume its constant cadence, and the late-August air will soon find cool surrender in crisp autumn days.
There are some things in life that give you that extra edge — the play between ease and exhilaration that leaves you feeling balanced and inspired. They are the pieces of your day that not only keep you going, but boost you to your best self.
I was first introduced to Joseph Campbell in a 10th grade English class. Although his ideas sparked my interest, The Hero’s Journey and The Power of Myth were never more to me than philosophical curriculum. Now, however, I appreciate Campbell’s teachings, and those who teach him, more than ever. It seems that now, “Follow your bliss”— his famous words of wisdom — are a part of me every day.