When I first trained to teach yoga, I wanted to be a yoga teacher so badly it made me feel physically ill.
Which sounds like a bad thing but kinda wasn't.
You see, until that point, I'd never felt particularly passionate about anything. I'd gone through University without much interest in what I was learning, I'd landed in a job that paid great, let me work flexible hours and not wear suits (that was a huge plus) and I had more shoes than one woman could every need.
But I was empty inside, and I came to a point where I really thought I couldn't go on living like that. There was, for me, just no point. No meaning.
And that was when I started getting to do what I loved and get paid for it! I'll be the first to tell you I think that the whole 'do what you love' thing is often a ploy on the part of businesses to underpay their staff - or not pay them at all - and hide behind the fact that they are getting a chance to do what they love.
But for me, there wasn't a real choice.
I had to find some meaning in my day to day. It's just how I'm wired. Money doesn't motivate me in the way that helping people feel better does. I do my job because I never get tired of seeing how relaxed people look after savasana.
As time has passed, I've discovered that there was a lot I didn't know about teaching yoga when I first set out. I wondered if it might be the same for others, and it turns out, yes. Karen gave her views here, and the first of this 'ask teamm…yoga!' series is here.
Now, some of us list the things we didn't know when we started. It's nice, if you are considering doing our 2015 teacher training, to get a glimpse of what life might be like on the other side!
6 teachers share things they didn't know about teaching yoga:
Pauline: how rewarding it would be. No words can really describe the feeling I get from teaching a class, seeing the students glow after class and watching them progress from week to week.
Suzy: That you might not want to run your own studio. When I thought about becoming a yoga teacher, I didn’t really consider all the admin that owning a successful studio would involve. Business plans, financial plans, marketing strategies, websites, mailing lists, management skills, and so on. I have discovered that I am not willing to spend my time doing something I dislike so much! So, I am a ‘contract’ yoga teacher. I work for other businesses so I don’t have to worry about room hire, power bills, staff payment, advertising. Managing a yoga business involves a truckload of ‘unbillable hours’ spent on admin. Bah!
Kirsten: Teaching a class is only scraping the surface. Every time I teach I learn something new from my students. I learn from their bodies, their reactions, their injuries and of course their shared experiences. Teaching yoga is such a fulfilling career. I get to teach people how to move their bodies, challenge their minds, laugh at themselves in awkward poses (yes, happy baby pose, I'm looking at you!) and remember how to play again!
Claire: I had no idea about all the new skills I'd learn off the mat. I come from a business background and still found it challenging! The reality is whether you teach one class or ten, you're running your own business and with that comes a whole new set of challenges. It's a great way to practice Yoga off the mat.
Nancy: How much your own positive projection can impact the experience of others. How important it is to be genuine when you teach, to be yourself. How much there is to learn about people, the body, the mind just by observation. How much there is to learn about yourself!
Me: How it would be a lifelong passion. I'm always learning, and, more than a decade down the track, I still love what I do and can't imagine doing anything else.