June 17, 2016

I’m Done Teaching a Whole Lot of Asana.

Author's own

Friday was my first time teaching since I rediscovered myself a few weeks ago and with it the realization that I don’t really want to teach a whole lot of asana anymore.

I was nervous to teach because I had no idea what was going to come pouring out of me. Everything I am these days feels new.

During these last few years I’ve been struggling with my teaching. I’ve felt like a “bad” yoga teacher because I haven’t felt passionate about asana or sequencing or alignment or philosophy—at all. People keep asking me for teacher trainings and immersions and RYT certifications and all I feel is… Bleh. I have no interest in teaching people how the bones should stack in Mountain pose or what muscles to engage in Warrior II or any of the things you’ll find in a standard yoga teacher training manuals.

I don’t care about Sanskrit. I don’t care about poses. All I want to do is talk about love. I don’t give a whole lot of sh*t about anything else. But hey, I’m Yoga Girl so yoga, much of which is so focused on poses and structure and body, comes with the gig.

I’ve been so exhausted touring lately and I’m realizing now it’s because I’ve put the essence of my teaching, my true offering to this world, on the sideline. I’ve been so stuck on the idea of what yoga “usually is” and what people expect from me that I haven’t given the truth that I speak enough room to grow. Even though I know this is why so many people come to my classes. It’s why you fly in from different states and countries to practice; it’s why you wait for hours in line outside the strange venues we pack people into for these classes; it’s why you squeeze your mat in next to a thousand others. It’s why you listen to the words I say.

You don’t give a whole lot of sh*t about “yoga” either. You care about the true meaning of it. You care about union. You care about letting go. Above all, you care about love.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I will be teaching from this moment on.

Asana is a wonderful tool and it plays a big role in how we open up, but it’s not the end-game. Love is the end-game. So get ready for love. It’s coming.


Author: Rachel Brathen

Image: Author’s own

Editor: Katarina Tavčar; Nicole Cameron

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Rachel Brathen

Rachel Brathen is a yogi on a world tour. Born and raised in Sweden, she currently resides in the beautiful island of Aruba where she is busy teaching yoga at a resort in the mornings, coordinating retreats at noon, taking her three somewhat crazy dogs to the beach to keep up with the surf in the afternoon and trying to survive as a vegan (where no vegetables grow!) in the evenings. She firmly believes that life is not black or white – it’s black and white and blue and yellow with rays of pink and sparkle in between. You can teach yoga and still be a party animal. Meditate and ignore your spending problems. Be vegan and eat too much chocolate. Have a Swedish passport and live in the Caribbean. You can do anything, as long as it’s you! You can find Rachel on the beach, probably practicing her Astavakrasana, or on facebook.com/rachelsyoga.