Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The greatest job on earth (apart from dancing!)

I bloody love my job! Its the best job I ever had, apart from being a dancer. I bloody loved that too! But sadly I got too old and tired to drag on the false eyelashes and fishnets every night (that makes it sound like I worked in a strip joint doesn't it?!...I hope from the general air of class that I carry around, you will know that that is not the case!) plus, eating actually started to become more enjoyable than smoking!
So as I was saying, being a real life honest to goodness yoga teacher pretty much is the bollocks! Mostly because I get to help people transform their bodies, their state of minds and sometimes (dare I be so bold), their lives.
It's so fantastic to be able to see the process.
A person comes to yoga for the first time, a little unsure of what to expect, maybe a little sceptical. Generally they want to find a workout for their bodies, a gentle but powerful form of exercise where they don't have to pound on a treadmill or bounce around on a dance floor. I very often see it on their faces that "Is this really for me?" kind of  look and on some the "Yeah well, how hard can it be?" kind of look. And very slowly you see those looks change into a "Bloody Hell! This is tough" kind of look or a "This is what I've been missing" kind of look. Although sometimes this is hidden by the ruffled hair and the sweating and the panting!
And more often than not, after one class of powerful vinyasa flow they are completely hooked!
Then comes the next phase. The part when a pose suddenly just clicks. It's normally something like down dog (trickier than it looks) when a small adjustment from me either vocally or physically means that the weight is suddenly in the right place and the shoulders are finally relaxed and it at last feels "Comfortable"! And you see it, as a teacher I mean, you see that long deep breath that tells you "She's got it now!"
And for others it is something like rolling up into shoulder-stand for the first time without using the wall or pushing up into wheel when the crown of the head is no longer on the floor and you are flying! The expression on peoples faces are priceless. Elation suddenly replaces that determined, clenched look!
My favourite part however, is when someone comes up to me and confides that suddenly they are sleeping at night or when I hear that a friend commented on how confident they look, or how they feel so much more clear headed and able to simply "cope", attributing all of these things to their weekly yoga practice.
With this great job, comes responsibility however. I feel a pressure. A pressure to ensure that my brood of chicks are continuing to progress and transform and be enlightened. I want to be the absolute best teacher I can be, allowing them to develop their physical practice, giving them knowledge and encouragement and hoping to let them see that yoga can enrich their whole lives, not just satisfy them in that one hour on their mat.
So I am hard on myself. Shocker! I read endless books and spend evenings glued to YouTube finding new ways to get into postures. I take workshops and watch DVDs and bore my entire family with yoga talk as well as the usual "Do you think I am doing right by everyone?" conversations.
But as soon as I press the play button on my ipod and say the words "Take a moment to check in and start to connect your mind and your body through your breath" I am in a total state of happiness and contentment.
I am the luckiest person alive!

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