The very first yoga class that I ever taught was quite memorable. It was part of my requirements to graduate from the Classical Yoga Teachers Training (CYTT) at Kashi Atlanta. Actually not only was it the very first CYTT class that I ever taught in a long list of others, it was the first CYTT class that anybody ever taught at Kashi Atlanta. Looking back, it comes as no surprise that I taught the first class, I was always eager (understatement) to share yoga. I think probably then I just wanted to get it over with. I spent much of my life before yoga wanting to get things over with.
This first class, I was completely nervous and did not sleep for three days afterward from the huge amount of Shakti I experienced. I did not take this training to teach nor did I ever have any intention to be a teacher; instead simply to be closer to my teacher, Swami Jaya Devi who I love and adore. I had prepared a class with many difficult poses, yet I had many students that had never done yoga before. Hours of preparation tossed away and a priceless first lesson. Everyone in the room actually did what I asked them to do. Having three young children at the time, this was another first for me. The experience was like none I had ever felt, sharing what I love. It was blissful. I was hooked. Swami Jaya Devi came and sat in while I was teaching. I looked up and saw her and couldn’t get another word out. I sat there for what felt like 5 minutes before we did another pose. She teased me about it publicly for some time after. To this day as far as I know, Swami has never sat in on another class at Kashi Atlanta.
I proceeded to take the teacher’s training three more times.
I proceeded to take the teacher’s training three more times. Now honest to God truth, the fourth time, Jaya Das would not take my money. Since he couldn’t take my money, he made me work. I became part of the staff of fabulous senior teachers at Kashi Atlanta. More than ever, the other teachers at Kashi continue to humble me over and over not only for how generous they are with their students but how dedicated and unwavering they are toward their personal growth.
I am far from perfect.
On the surface not much has changed. I am still passionate about teaching yoga. I still get nervous often and now I get higher than ever. I still yell at my kids, little things push my buttons, I see what is misaligned sometimes more often than what is aligned and I still like to control situations and be right. Is any one with me here? I am far from perfect. But what has changed is my ability to be present and connected, to allow myself to be a little bit more vulnerable, to do things not to get them over with and check things off my to do list, but to just be with what is, to be more accepting of others, and a little bit of myself.
I have the greatest job in the world.
When I teach, I love to watch people connect into the place within themselves where they can let go of limiting ideas of themselves for a bit, where they can tap into their wholeness and get glimpses of what it feels like to be free. I love that I get to help students feel a little better about them selves every class. I have the greatest job in the world.