I became a yoga teacher this past August.
Well, I’ve actually “been” a yoga teacher since 2014, but I had done nothing with my certification for three years because I had convinced myself I had no business getting up in front of and leading a group of students.
If you live in the United States, then you may very well know that based on the number of yoga teacher trainings out in the world, there’s no shortage of yoga teachers across the country. This can create a sense of insecurity for those who don’t believe they have what it takes to make it as a teacher—myself included. I compared myself to my most revered yoga teachers and convinced myself I was not worthy of walking in their footsteps.
Three years and three certifications later, the insecurities are still there every single time I walk into a room of students, but what’s different is I’m fighting Impostor Syndrome rather than letting Impostor Syndrome keep me away from teaching.
Know this—if you’re driven to teach yoga, then it’s meant to be.
Sink your teeth into pursuing your path. Don’t give up at the first failure you meet.
I didn’t teach after receiving my first yoga teacher training because I was terrified of allowing myself to be seen in my vulnerable power in the seat of the teacher. It’s nerve wracking as all hell to stand up in front of people you don’t know.
Speaking from my personal experience, I believe that most new yoga teachers experience a deer-in-the-headlights moment in front of a class, when it seems simultaneously exhilarating and utterly paralyzing to move with grace and ease, speak with poise, and shepherd a class full of students through the practice you know so deep in your body but that might feel like learning a foreign language to them.
Teaching yoga is at first a lot like testing out a new pancake recipe—you’re going to have a few bad batches before you reach that which is melt-in-your-mouth-fluffy-and-perfect. Be willing to move through that awkward phase as a teacher, because the insecurities never go away—but it gets better!
Author: Caitlin Oriel
Image: Courtesy of Author
Copy editors: Sara Kärpänen & Travis May