One of the biggest challenges as a new yoga teacher is getting over ego, and not taking it personally when no one turns up to class—even if they promised!
Despite the fears and insecurities of standing in front of a room, teaching yoga in my “earlier days” somehow felt less daunting when the room was filled with students, rather than just one or two.
There was of course the fear of intimacy of connection that came with working with a smaller group, but more so, the dread of what people would think of me if only a couple of people turned up to my class. Not to mention the self doubt as to why all the students weren’t coming back to my class every week. Clearly the number of students was a reflection on my quality of teachings.
Yet as a student, I would be horrified to think my teachers over the years had taken it personally when I couldn’t make their class. I have certainly provided my fair share of excuses for why I couldn’t make it to the mat.
Thankfully as a teacher, I have quickly identified this delusion as my ego. I have recognized and re-membered that my offering as a facilitator, is no different or of any less significance if my class is half-empty, or half-full (or anything in between).
The space I hold for students to connect with their body and mind is sacred—regardless of class numbers.
Despite this recognition, how often when someone asks me how my class went, I catch myself responding with the number of students that were on the mat!
When really, the response to that question is about self-reflection, and not ego. How did I show up as a teacher? Was I receptive to what was presented in front of me? Did I facilitate a safe space that allowed the students to connect within? These are the questions that really determine the quality of the class.
So now, as I commute to my sunrise classes, the accompanying apology text messages that arrive at dawn, hold no weight to the space and the intimacy I am about to offer to those whose yoga mats weren’t eaten by the dog last night (or perhaps just wanted to sleep in).
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman