Ask me ten years ago what I wanted to do with my life and I’d of told you, a job in Public Relations in Melbourne.
Ask me five years ago what I wanted to do with my life and I would have told you, not what I’m doing right now (corporate job in Communications).
Ask me even two years ago what I wanted to do with my life and, I can promise you, I wouldn’t have said, be a yoga teacher.
Ask me the same question now? I’m still not really sure, but I do know it includes being a yoga teacher.
I’m uber grateful I started my own marketing and communications business because it’s given me the freedom to pursue things outside of that arena, one of those things being yoga.
Taking the leap
I decided I was going to do my yoga teacher training (YTT) at the end of 2015. I was in the midst of a 12-week yoga and Pilates challenge at Essence of Living and I loved it so much I wanted MORE. I wasn’t quite sure what that more entailed just yet – did I want to become a teacher, or did I just want to deepen my self-practice?
This wasn’t a time where money was pouring in and YTT is quite the investment (thousands of dollars) but I made the commitment and the money arrived. I’m still really stoked I made that happen when I think back!
YTT began at the beginning of 2016, 10-weekends of intensive training and lots of yoga in between. If you’d like to hear more about my YTT experience, I blogged about it over at EOL.
Something so amazing about the YTT I chose was that we had to teach actual classes as a part of our training – not just observe, assist or part-teach. As great as this was, it was also terrifying for me. And I didn’t quite expect that. I’m pretty good with public speaking and I’ve taught lots of workshops in the marketing and comms space. But teaching yoga… fuck.
Even after those initial classes I taught within my training, I was still feeling like a nervous wreck before I stepped on to the mat to take my first class. Sweaty palms, speedy heartbeat and a sick emptiness in my stomach. I can still vividly remember the feelings now over a year later.
I was insistent that I wanted to teach though, so I pushed through those feelings and kept taking classes, eventually filling up my schedule with some regulars. At first just a few classes a week left me exhausted. Not from the physical teaching, but from the anxiousness and nerves. I remember one week, teaching seven classes (I’d taken on some covers), and I said to myself, never again – I was shattered.
But with commitment, I kept going. And things finally started to feel better – it took months of teaching though! There was no easy path or shortcut, it was simply stepping out in front of a class and teaching. Sure participating in classes gave me inspiration and reading books did too, but the nerves were only lessened by putting myself out there. Over and over again.
Now, my teaching schedule includes eight classes a week, a mix of public classes, kids yoga and a private class. It feels like a good balance between going pro as a yoga teacher but it still not feeling like a “job” (at least, the great majority of the time).
So, how did I become a yoga teacher?
I made a decision and I committed.
The Universe conspired to help me get there, but it was me that planted the seed and watered it till it bloomed a beautiful flower.
What’s next on my yoga teaching journey? I don’t have any dreams of becoming a full-time teacher and I want to ensure I don’t lose my passion for it by turning it into my only source of income. There is so much more in the yoga-sphere though and maybe it’s there that I’ll make my way eventually.
I’m keeping my options open as I’m not a person who has one die-hard passion – I have a few! For now, I follow what feels good… teaching, writing, coming back to ourselves and nature. Who knows where it will lead?
I’d really love it if you shared this post with friends who might enjoy it!
And of course, if you’ve got something to add or stories of following your passion(s), leave a comment below.