Yoga teachers have it all together, right? Not me. Just because I teach yoga does not mean I have it all figured out. Far from it! I have been teaching yoga for over ten years and one of the many things my own practice has taught me is to show up authentically. I teach yoga because it resides deep in my heart and I’m passionate about helping others find the strength to shed their outer layers and accept exactly who they are on the inside. It’s a beautiful process to watch someone discover their own worth and we all get there differently, even yoga teachers.
I have insecurities
I have had body image issues for as long as I can remember. Some days, I am anxious as hell to get up in front of my yoga students and have everyone stare at my body. It can be extremely difficult to have all eyes on me. Have you ever compared your body to someone else in class and ended up feeling bad about yourself? I know how that feels too. I have to practice dropping into my heart and remind myself that the inner matters more.
Messy is my middle name
Yes, I am healing too. I don’t have it all figured out. I make mistakes, fall, and get defeated. My path can get messy and my intention is not to be perfect, but my inner critic can send me in the wrong direction sometimes. I get off balance. I cry in my car and scream at the sky. Life can be overwhelming for me too and it stinks! Yoga helps me find my center.
I eat nachos and cake and I drink beer
Yes, I like to practice eating nourishing food, but I don’t always do it. I do my best to listen to my body and let it decide what it needs. And, some days, I stuff my face with sugar and carbs…and chocolate. I adore chocolate. I also have a love, love relationship with beer. So, I don’t harbor judgment for anyone’s eating or drinking preferences because it’s none of my business. I do what I do and make no apology. There are no good and bad foods, it’s just fuel for your body, and we all get to decide how we want to fuel up.
I don’t always show the best version of myself
Yes, I get angry and react to things too quickly. I yell at my husband. I get frustrated with my kids. My patience goes out the window when the nice check-out person is going too slow. I can get snippy when things don’t go my way. I have been known to take on too much and can be controlling. My own self care takes the back seat sometimes and I get worn down. I’m human just like you. Teaching yoga reminds me to bring these things to the mat so we can all practice self-awareness and forgiveness.
I swear…a lot
Yes, I show up whole-heartedly for my yoga students and use gentle, encouraging words to guide them through their practice. Off the mat, I cuss. Sometimes I cuss at people on my way to teach and then again on the way home. My language is not always clean, but it’s how I express myself.
I am not a medical professional
I have training in anatomy and if I see something that would hurt you during your practice, I will gently make adjustments. My degree is not a medical one and I am not able to diagnose your pain. I wish I could reassure you that everything will be okay and that yoga heals everything. Yoga doesn’t solely heal everything.
There is no perfect pose, perfect teacher, or perfect class. Embracing our flaws is the journey to self acceptance. Showing up authentically and consistently is what matters. I’m far from perfect, but I show up as I am every single day, even when it hurts. I stand up in front of my students to remind them that being yourself is necessary because everyone else is already taken. You are perfect just the way you are. The truth is, I’m learning as much from you as you are from me and I couldn’t do this without you!