The first time I set foot inside the yoga studio to teach, I felt frightened.
I didn’t feel ready. I doubted my own competence as a teacher. I barely remember the class in retrospect.
It all seems like such a blur now. I imagine it, something like driving through a foggy haze. I’m certain I was shuffling my feet in the classroom and I probably stumbled over things such as my thoughts, my words, and probably the carpet beneath my feet.
When I got hired to teach at the fitness center, I had only been back from my yoga teacher training in India for about three weeks. It was such an incredible experience. I’m sure I was still processing all that I had learned. I’m certain I will be going through this process for the rest of my life.
So, still flying high from the experience, I was enthusiastic about the trip and about teaching yoga. I’m sure the afterglow of my adventure was the single most reason I was hired for the job.
Word spread around the gym that the teacher who learned Hatha in India was teaching there. I was proud of this fact but also felt as if expectations of me were higher, like because I learned in India, I might grow wings and fly into the supreme consciousness right before everyone’s eyes. This unfortunately was not the case.
Sure I received an excellent education, but after talking to some of the yoga teachers who were certified in the U.S., I learned their core yoga education was much like the one I had received, minus the cow pies and gurus.
Now, I’ve been teaching for just a few months. I am by no means an expert and my learning process is ever-changing and evolving as a teacher. I’m always trying new things in class. I am just starting to figure out my teaching style and find my voice as an instructor. I actually hope this will always be the case for as long as I’m teaching and as long as I’m finding my way through the world.
As a teacher, I find that often times my students are my teachers and I am simply just a conduit for them to teach me. “Teacher“ is merely just a different word for student. I have a student who each week will tell me something or ask me something and each week I contemplate his questions and research. It keeps me moving forward in my own personal journey.
I feel lucky that people allow me to share their journeys.
I am fortunate that people keep coming back to learn more.
Each day I am thinking about yoga, defining what it means to me and what it means to be a teacher. I think this is also one of the lessons yoga teaches. My ultimate goal is to one day open my own yoga studio. This is my dream and what I’m continuously working towards.
I feel like yoga has given me so much. During times when I get discouraged or feel like giving up, somehow, yoga seems to open another door for me. It gives me hope, faith, and allows me to continue forward in this journey of life.
Teresa is a work in progress and enjoys sculpting her life and waiting for beautiful mysteries of her life to unfold before her. After traveling to India to become a certified Hatha yoga teacher, she decided to open her very own yoga studio in Wisconsin. She teaches traditional Hatha yoga classes as well as meditation. She also is newly married and enjoys spending time with her husband doing things like: vegetarian cooking, walking their nine bundle of attitude (miniature pinscher), Maggie, or going for hikes and spending time outside exploring. Teresa is a self-proclaimed dreamer and romantic. When she is not teaching yoga or hanging out with her husband you can find her with her nose buried in a book, with a paintbrush in her hand or writing heartfelt essays and poetry. She dreams also of traveling and hopes to one day be lucky enough to see a generous portion of the world!
Editor: Olga Feingold