I raise my glass, and I toast you for all your hard work, passion and commitment.
I was super excited. I had just received an email that I was selected to be in a yoga magazine photo shoot featuring Toronto’s best and most innovative up and coming yoga teachers.
As a relatively new teacher in Toronto (I had just moved from Guelph a year and a half before), I was completely honored and super stoked. Not only was I really excited to be in my first yoga magazine photo shoot (oh my gosh, I just peed my pants a little) but I was also ecstatic that several of my close yoga teacher friends, who I admired greatly, were going to be in it too! The article would feature us in fancy outfits, include our biography, a spread of our personal yoga sequence, and eventually, a video of us teaching a sequence to be uploaded online.
And while I was really excited for this, a part of me kept saying “there are so many other really amazing and innovative teachers I know that truly deserve this opportunity too.”
I kept in contact with the magazine about photo shoot times and scheduling. And of course, I told a couple of close friends and family about the shoot because I was just oh-so-excited.
A week later, I met up with one of my yoga friends and she notified me the magazine had scheduled the shoot for the following Friday…I never received that email.
When I got home, I emailed the magazine. I received a brief response, a few hours later, saying that I had been dropped and that I was no longer in the shoot.
Now, I have to admit that I felt a wee bit crappy and insecure after reading the impersonal email. But, having been in the dance industry for a few years, I got over it pretty fast. Ever been to a dance audition? Well they are even more cutthroat and there’s no sense crying when you still have two legs to dance on.
I was still very excited for my friends who were going to be in the shoot—they had all worked very hard and were all amazing teachers. But, as I spent the following day reflecting about what happened, I thought,
“Wow, wait a second here, there are hundreds and hundreds of teachers who work tirelessly, who spend a great deal of time to create and teach innovative workshops and classes, who spend what little money they make to deepen their own education, who wake up super early and/or teach super late. All of this so that they can empower, uplift, comfort, heal, inspire, offer a sense of grounding, community, peace or balance to their students. These yoga teachers are teaching really amazing and innovative classes, and bringing yoga into the nooks and crannies of our society. And the reality is that out of these thousands of inspiring yoga teachers, hardly any will ever be featured in a magazine.”
Now don’t get me wrong; I have just as much respect and appreciation for the teachers who have worked hard and have passionately stepped into the spotlight—we need them too—they bring yoga to the masses in their own authentic way. And to be completely honest, I aim to be there someday as well.
But today, I would like to raise my glass (a peach raspberry Bellini) to the thousands of teachers who are working so hard, who teach yoga because they love it, who are stretching the boundaries, who are different, who are giving it all they’ve got. I raise my glass and I toast you for all your hard work, passion and commitment. And someday I hope to cross paths with you, or come to your class or workshop, or hear about you from a friend of a friend.
Ed: Evan Livesay
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