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April 10, 2014

From Corporate Woman to Yogi: The Joy is in the Journey. ~ Anna Montoya

Kevin Sutton Photography

I am learning to surf the waves of life.

I fall down, I get up. I fall down again, and I get up again.

The joy is in the journey. And here is my short journey as a Yoga teacher.

It’s only been four months since this journey started—the active part of the journey, the let’s-make-this-happen part. In December I lost my fear, or I overcame it somehow. I mean my fear of teaching, my fear of students not liking my classes, my fear of talking in front of a group of people while placing my body in funny positions and trying to breath properly at the same time.

All my fears suddenly seemed small and irrelevant, and I finally understood that they would stay with me until I made them go away.

So I started.

I found a place and rented a room. In December I had one student—for the whole month. He was a good friend who attended my classes religiously and took an interest, not because he was my friend but because he wanted to learn yoga from me. What an honor! This gesture only helped further reinforce the idea that I had to jump into the swimming pool to learn to swim.

In February things picked up a bit and I had up to three people in the same room, at the same time, all learning yoga. From me. I also started volunteer teaching once a week, and suddenly I was teaching a group of 20 people.

And it worked. And people clapped their hands at the end of every single class. I blushed and felt so proud that I could have burst. I was not even getting paid for it. I still do it, and I still love it. I am thankful for all of my faithful students who turn up week after week, bring their friends, clap at the end of the class and seem to enjoy each and every session.

yoga lady black and whiteI also did a couple of Family Yoga sessions in February, and they worked out really well. I was nervous in the first one, but things quickly changed and confidence grew.

In March, I returned to work after three weeks away from Barcelona. I don’t even remember how it happened, but suddenly I had four regular students. I started teaching more classes, and it paid off. Last week, we were five in a class, and I had taught two other students in the morning.

This week I start a new chapter. I moved to a wonderful new place. The place itself is not perfect, but something about it makes it just right for me, for now, for my Yoga. Also, things have started moving—other projects, other proposals. It’s amazing.

As soon as one relaxes and starts to take life for what it is, with its ups and downs, things simply flow naturally.

We spend so much time resisting what we don’t like that we are not able to welcome what we like into our lives. I am learning to relax and enjoy things.

I try to find the positive in every situation and be perceptive to my environment. It’s not easy. It’s a daily job.

Additionally I feel it is part of my responsibility as a Yoga teacher to do it. I aim to inspire people, to makes people’s lives slightly better.

If they are able to forget about their problems for 90 minutes, I am happy. On top of that, if their lower back stops bothering them, I am super happy.

If they can leave class feeling a little better about themselves, feeling more courageous and more at peace, I am ecstatic.

It’s time to be grateful. I am grateful for those who have supported me from day one, never doubting my decision, for those who have tried Yoga because they love me, for those who listen to me day after day talking about Yoga, for my friends and for my dear family, who accept me as I am.

They continue to love me, despite my decision to swap corporate life for Yoga and vegan cuisine. To them I say thank you with all my heart.

If nothing else, I know that I have fantastic people around me who support my growth and my happiness. What else could a girl ask for?

 

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Apprentice Editor: Pamela Mooman / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum

Photos: elephant journal archives

 

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Anna Montoya