I Certainly Don’t Want to Teach You Yoga.

Via Sarah Brose
on Jun 28, 2013
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Amazing Yoga Class Shot

I like people—I love people—but on certain days, I don’t want to see people, and today I don’t want to teach yoga.

I wouldn’t say I’m a complete introvert. But on certain days,

I want to be under something soft.

I want to observe and I want only to listen.

I love you, I do,

But on certain days

I don’t want to touch you,

I don’t want to talk to you,

I don’t even really want to see you and

I certainly don’t want to teach you yoga.

When I started teaching, this freedom to hide, to crawl under, slide behind, to take the back door, side door, in and out—anything but the front door—all changed.

On days I want to hide, I have to show up. I have to squeeze into something relatively small and tight. I have to step into a room with an entire wall of mirrors and turn the temperature up high so that what is small and tight becomes smaller and tighter.

I have to arrive not fashionably late but 30 minutes early—the first to arrive at the party I don’t even want to be at. I have to arrive early, not as an anonymous guest or a friend of a friend, but a generous host.

See, my job is to make sure everything is ready. The room is ready, the lights are ready, the temperature is ready, the props are ready and then I have to stand by the entrance way and find a way to smile and greet all those people I might not want to see today because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is about connecting.

And when I see the brunette with the high pony who walked out on me in the middle of savasana last Sunday, I will greet her just the same as the rest. I will greet her and I will stand tall and breathe when I do it because, if I’m going to lead a group of students through a series of backbends, I better learn to stand tall and offer you a hair elastic band even though you made me cry because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is about connecting even in the unpleasant moments. 

And when I walk into a room with an entire wall of mirrors I will look into my own eyes when I talk about drishti. I will look into my own eyes even when I ate chocolate cake for breakfast and skipped meditation to look up all my ex-boyfriends and all my ex-boyfriends girlfriends on Facebook because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is an honest practice.

And when you lift your foot higher than it needs to be in tree, I will find my vrksanana. I will keep my left toes on the earth and my hip-bones square to the mirror and I will connect to what is beneath me even though everything feels like water because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is finding the courage to lead, even when you want to follow.

And when I see your hips lifted in child’s pose, I will offer you an adjustment. I will place my palms on your low back on an inhale and I will press down on an exhale. I will sync my breath with yours, your breath with mine, and I will be taken out of my own silly cycle of too many thoughts for a minute because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is about something bigger than the physical body.

And after we finish Kapalabhati I will invite you to seal your practice. And when you seal your practice, I will seal mine by thanking the earth for every one of you. And I will send you love and I will send a little more to you, brunette with the high pony because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is about letting go.

And when I walk out the door and leave you in savasana, I will resist the urge to check my phone within the first 30 seconds. And when I’m cold and I wrap myself in a blue towel, I will resist the urge to put the towel over my my whole head. I will resist the urge to run after sharing something vulnerable. I will instead drape the towel over my shoulders and I will wear it more like a blue cape and I will invite you to sit and have tea with me because I am a yoga teacher and… yoga is a courageous practice.

And when you sit with me and tell me that class was special I will resist the urge to deflect the comment by complimenting you on your very exciting pink tank-top. I will meet your gaze and because my pores are wide open. I will allow the gratitude to enter every cell of my body because, as much as yoga is about giving… yoga is about learning to receive.

And after I hear you, I will stand there in a blue-towel cape, a little bit proud. Because after 60 minutes of teaching I will see each student and notice the difference in them from when they first came in.

I will see them and I will become less aware of what is small and tight and stuck to me and more of aware of what is big and round and bigger than me and I will be reminded that… this practice isn’t about me.

As as soon as I’m reminded of this, I want to disappear

A little less.



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Ed: B. Bemel


About Sarah Brose

Sarah Brose is a Yoga Teacher and Theatre artist who is interested in exploring the links between Yoga and Art. She believes Yoga and Mindfulness create the space and stillness required to cultivate the greatest amounts of strength, softness, courage and compassion. It is within this space that we come up with the most creative solutions to all of life’s problems. She enjoys writing and sharing words from this place. You can read more here.


19 Responses to “I Certainly Don’t Want to Teach You Yoga.”

  1. Enjoyed this very much, Sarah.

    Bob W. Editor
    Best of Yoga Philosophy

  2. Carter says:

    Wow. Thank you for writing this.

  3. yogashanan says:

    great post, Sarah. Wonderful insight – and honesty.

  4. Kirsten says:

    That is beautiful. Thank you.

  5. David Freiman | My Good Life Yoga says:

    Well said. I make a point of trying to be completely present for my yoga students and clients, but sometimes there are things that are too hard to get off my mind, or sometimes I'm just don't feel like teaching. But the great thing I keep in mind, is that within minutes of starting a class or session, my state shifts and I wonder why I was so reluctant and resistant. When I can get out of my own way, I can be fully present for my students.

  6. Jessica Brown says:

    The honesty in this was beautiful.

  7. Juli says:

    Beautiful! Thank you. Needed this today. Right now as I type, I’m procrastinating meditation to read EJ & FB.

  8. tishushu says:

    LOVED this.

  9. Ted Grand says:

    What a wonderful, wonderful article, Sarah. I am really proud of you and grateful for your wise lesson.

  10. Stephanie Parke says:

    I am so thankful for my teachers on the mat and in life. I know you all have had these days. Thank you for teaching and caring even when your heart or mind would rather you be elsewhere.

  11. Anna says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed to read this.

  12. eveyoga says:

    You've nailed it Sarah for me as a long-time yoga teacher, and revealed some of your insides for students to see.

  13. Amy says:

    A few days a month…every month, I struggle…but after my class Im filled with that awesome Joy 🙂

  14. My feeling echoed in this honest and insightful piece. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us.

  15. Victoria Yuen says:

    Thanks so much. I struggle everyday to be 'the only yoga teacher' in a small community. I know this won't change their thoughts, but it helps me to know that I'm not alone. Thanks again

  16. Mike Huber says:

    Thank you Sarah
    What a timeless article. No later how much we love something, frustrations will always present themselves. Knowing there is a light at the end helps considerably, even if sometimes that light isn’t until the end of the day, or month. Thank you for sharing this.

  17. soulflowvinyasayoga says:

    such a pretty article<3

  18. soulflowvinyasayoga says:

    Well said! "When I can get out of my own way" 🙂

  19. Nicci says:

    Thank you, Sarah. This is beautiful.