September 10, 2014

A Yoga Teacher’s Manifesto.

Viva My Yoga

When I first started my journey in teaching yoga, I was afraid.

Exhilarated? Confident I was on the right path? Yes. But also nervous at the thought of it. Sort of like a stage fright, in the spiritual realm.

As I wrote in We’re Already Good Enough, Arm Balances or Not, when I first started teaching formally (i.e. in a studio as opposed to a friend’s backyard) I would have dreams of climbing up these huge hills to get to class.

Upon arriving I would be late and so flustered that I wouldn’t know what to do or how to teach. My teachers were always there, though, to help me through it and guide me in the next steps.

These dreams were a constant reminder that I am not alone in this process. So, in gathering confidence and inspiration to show up to class, to believe in myself and to be reminded that I’ve always had what it takes, I wrote the following as a daily note to myself on my fridge:

“Laughter releases tension from the diaphragm, lowers blood pressure, improves immune function, and releases endorphins.

The practice of yoga is too important to be serious!

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Be yourself.

Remember that you are not only teaching poses, breathing practices, and meditation techniques; you are also sharing skills to help your students live with courage and someday die with grace. Do not worry that you may not know enough. No one does. Be yourself.“*

This is what got me through.

How to break the ice with your students? Bring some laughter into the class! Life and yoga are both too important to take too seriously and laughter is a must for me. Not sure where to start? Just bring the attention on the breath and remind yourself of how taken care of and guided you are. Trust that you’ll know what to do from there.

Whatever you do (yoga teacher or not), the Universe is looking for a way to express itself through you. It may seem scary because it is the most raw and vulnerable thing there is, but acting from that truly authentic place is the life-giving juiciness of being alive. It’s what makes life fun!

My life coach Sally says, “What you want, wants you!” Someone out there is needing to hear exactly what you have to say, if it is something that is truly near and dear to your heart. So please, share your voice, share your passion, share your vocation, we are all waiting for you!



*Author’s Note: The authors of these quotes are unknown to me, they are a compilation of tidbits I picked up and enjoyed and brought together but they are not my own words.





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tiniertina Sep 10, 2014 12:59pm

How to break the ice with your students?

Simple. If you are teaching in an area that attracts even one new student to class, no matter how small the class or how regular your students, why don't you briefly introduce yourself?

Going around the room is optional, but that could be step 2.

We are are a lot closer to Indiana than to cave/mountain India … so the class could be conducted accordingly with great results!

It is not enough to be available after class for any questions. That is the opposite of what I would be looking for in a class. The beginning sets the tone. The end of class emphasizes your actual sub-rosa intentions in teaching the class; and could send the wrong message …

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Jessica Cartwright

Jessica Cartwright is on a mission to make the world a better place, one happy mom at a time. She provides mothers with the tools they need to support themselves, so that they can support their loved ones. She teaches pre and postnatal yoga locally in her hometown of Bozeman and through her virtual course, Mamas with Spirit. Her obsessions include making sourdough bread, sunshine, and her daughter Bella. Stop by and say hi on Instagram or her website.