August 21, 2013

5 Reasons Why I’ll Never Quit Teaching Yoga. ~ Nancy Gerstein

By: Lululemon Athletica

Ask any yoga teacher, chances are they’ll all tell you the same thing: it’s the best job they’ve ever had.

Teaching yoga is a calling that after nearly 20 years doesn’t stop calling me.

1. It keeps me flexible in body and mind.

The day I can’t bend over to tie my shoes, is the day I’m officially old. I’ve taught 99 year old’s who can bend and stretch better than their 30 year old counterparts. That’s the power of yoga, my friends. And it’s not just the body—yoga stretches the mind and opens you up to new things. What?! You’ve never tried Vietnamese food—water skiing, movies with subtitles, fill in the blank—you will now.

Suddenly you want to live big, because your mind and heart crave it.

2. It’s my therapy.

I’ve been to therapists of all shapes and sizes, male and female. The cheerleader listener who had my back and even that one guy who was channeling Freud. Still, nothing clears my mind and takes the garbage out my head better than teaching a yoga class. Within every crisis, I teach myself something new as I practice the self-acceptance and strength to move forward.

When you learn about yourself by yourself, it becomes you. This is worth everything.

3. I’d never commit to going to a class unless I had to.

Teachers have to show up. I also have to be alert and present to teach, demonstrate, watch and learn. Ok, it sounds pretty self-serving but it works for me. In case you didn’t know this, yoga teachers give their students a world of credit. Just showing up is the real practice.

4. It keeps me in constant gratitude of my body.

While my friends complain about their butts, bellies, wrinkles, thinning hair and varicose veins, I love myself. Don’t get me wrong, I so do not have the body of a goddess, nor do I grocery shop in my bikini. I’m merely thankful that I can breathe, move and stretch. I can do incredibly “funkadelic” things with this old and useful body. And when it lets me down, which it eventually will, I’ll know I didn’t take what I had for granted.

5. When I’m in class, I have one mind.

With all due respect to all the yoga teachers I’ve ever had, I suffer from acute hyper busy mind. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to listen. It just means, I’m not always present enough to even recognize that want. When I’m teaching though, the whole world gets out of the way and I have one mind, one thought, one focus.

Buddha said, “The whole world is nothing but you.” Now I understand.

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Assistant Ed: Tawny Sanabria/Editor: Bryonie Wise


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Myrna McCoy Aug 23, 2013 8:39pm

Thanks for this article, Nancy. I will never stop teaching yoga, for the reasons you listed, and probably some others. I have been teaching for 35 years. My inspirations are Tao-Porchon Lynch and several of the other 90 something yoga teachers that I have read about lately.

meghan Aug 20, 2013 9:33pm

I am looking forward to being a teacher someday <3

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Nancy Gerstein

Nancy Gerstein has been a student of yoga for decades, a Himalayan Institute Certified Yoga Teacher and the author of Guiding Yoga’s Light: Lessons for Yoga Teachers. Nancy believes that it’s okay NOT to love yoga. But if you do, just keep doing it. The real yoga, she says, is done when you’re not in yoga class.  Nancy welcomes your comments and discussions, especially why you love to teach yoga. Join the Guiding Yoga’s Light Facebook page and contact her via her website or at [email protected]