Today, a beautiful sunny Sunday by any standards, I am giving myself a wee pat on the back. Since completing my 200 hour yoga teacher training (TT) on 12/28/09, I’ve been looking at opportunities to teach in the DC metro area. Most recent TT graduates are unable to find employ at a yoga studio, as many studios require both a 200 hour certificate, and 1-2 years teaching experience. So where is a nubile yoga teacher to gain said experience? Why, yee local gym, of course.
This week I’ve had three auditions; two at gyms, and today’s at a new yoga studio. For the studio opening, I found an ad on Craigs List posting for yoga teacher auditions, and decided to inquire. Last weekend, I attended an informal “so you wanna teach at our studio” meeting. I was the sole teacher not currently teaching, nor with previous yoga teacher experience. I left extremely impressed with the studio management and space, yet less than enthused about my ability in this situation. Who am I to compete with these other, more experienced yogis?
Friends, I ask myself and encourage you to inquire the same within: WHO AM I NOT TO?
With more than a little encouragement from family and friends, I confirmed my audition time and prepared to give this opportunity my all. When I arrived at the studio, I learned that these free classes had been pulling 50-80+ people per class. I about dooked my slacks. I’m familiar with practicing, not teaching, in studios with max capacity of 50. Teaching experience (in the yoga realms) has been limited to much, much, much smaller numbers. Another phrase I like to use in times of potential pant soilage: FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT!
And so I did, but yet not. I guided these wonderful yoga students through an asana practice with everything I had, and found ½ way through that I had to fake no longer. I was having fun, I was sharing the gift that is yoga; and that is why I decided to attempt teaching in the first place. Third choice tidbit of the post: IF YOU CAN’T HAVE FUN, WHY BOTHER?
I won’t know for a while whether or not the audition was a success in the students’ or studio’s eyes. But for me, it was a great success. I overcame fears; big fears. I grabbed at a wonderful opportunity to strengthen my voice as it speaks the God-inspired yoga language. As a newbie TT, I can already say I’ve led large classes through Vinyasa practice. My proudest reflection though, is that I stood fast to my mantra, even when I wasn’t sure it’s what I was capable of doing: