Should I Stay or Should I Go
Last year at this time I was just finishing up assisting a monthlong teacher training course alongside my teacher, Ana Forrest. It was an enlightening and grueling month of 4am mornings, intense learning and inspiring work. I oscillated all month between feeling completely in the "right place" as a yoga teacher and feeling like running away entirely. I felt alternately like a highly skilled instructor and total fraud. At the end of the month, I began a year of questioning whether I should continue being a yoga teacher at all. This wasn't a matter of whether I "could" be a yoga teacher - I have been a yoga teacher for 14 years and the skills to do so successfully are there for me to grow from. This was more a question of whether I "should" continue being a yoga teacher or whether my Spirit was feeling restless and looking in a different direction. For a while before assisting this teacher training I had been feeling lackluster. The politics of the "yoga world" were bringing me down. Teachers speaking badly of one another, seeing teachers with the right "look" move ahead even as their students were getting injured, the general competitiveness of a community that outwardly "supported" one another but inwardly exposed a deeply ingrained scarcity complex. I felt unappreciated for my really hard work. I spent (and spend) hours working on sequences, doing my own practice to stay inspired, educating myself to be a better and better teacher and so much more. I was feeling like all that meant nothing. Then festivals and workshop venues started questioning the number of Facebook and Instagram followers I had - as if this was a better litmus test of what kind of instructor I was than my actual teaching skills and training. Falling compensation rates, festivals not paying at all, and potential clients balking at the price of private sessions all compounded my feelings. At this time last year I had come off some comments through the grapevine about how I was getting "old" not in age but in teaching techniques, and fears of being irrelevant in the changing yoga atmosphere toward fast-paced flashy vinyasa sequences were at the forefront of my mind. Through my work with Ana Forrest last September, each day I questioned what I was doing and why. She pushed my boundaries physically, mentally and emotionally, and questioned me about my ethics and values - not to be mean but to get me to hone in on what I really wanted from my life and to cut out the extraneous. She revealed to me as no one else could these glaring blind spots in my life and in my teaching. She has known me longer than anyone except my family, partner and a few close friends - she knows me inside and out better than I do sometimes. She can see me without the veil of my limiting beliefs and from a lifetime of her own experiences in the deep dark places. She was willing to go with me into those feelings of inadequacy and fear - to understand where they were really coming from. I'm a graceful navigator of life - a fact she reminded me of daily - and she knew better than I did that these feelings of not belonging in the yoga world were merely an indicator of another much deeper Spiritual malady and discomfort.Read more >>
Flash into Fall - October 22, 2016 - 1-3pm - Namaskar Yoga Studio - 3946 N Southport - Chicago, IL
Take time to work within your practice to connect to the energies of brightness and warmth at this transitional time of Fall moving into Winter. The brilliant colors of the fall season come in like a flash of light before the longer, darker days of winter take over. This workshop will teach you the many variations of the Forrest Yoga pose called Flash. Come explore how to use this pose to develop shoulder strength and stability, deep rivers of warm energy coursing in the body, and a connection to your own inner brilliance to lead you on the path towards winter. Expect pranayama exercises, integrated core work, therapeutic shoulder exercises, fun sequencing, inversions, arm balances, laughter and sweat. Appropriate for all levels of students. Learn more and register HERE.