Recently I received my 200 hour RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification through Empower Yoga in Appleton, WI, registered with Yoga Alliance, my “Yoga Story” dba (doing business as) was approved by the state under my current Write It! LLC, I created a Facebook page for Yoga Story, I began teaching/practicing at Flashback Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu LLC, and I created a few videos to help guide people through their practice. Despite these credentials, I cannot teach you yoga, that state of being in union and harmony with yourself and the life around you. I can guide your practice, I can cue you into and out of a pose. I can offer inspiring words, and encourage you to focus on your breath, to go within, to seek and find the deeper truth hidden in your spirit. But I can’t teach you how to unite your mind, body, and spirit. I can’t teach you enlightenment.
As a new teacher, in a martial arts studio that is newly offering yoga, I am learning a great deal of patience. The beauty of being a practitioner of yoga is that when no one arrives for me to teach, I practice. The ancient practice of yoga has multiplied into a myriad of disciplines over time, all with one common theme: be present. Whether there is one, many, or none, if I am to practice yoga to its fullness, uniting mind, body, and spirit, I must practice being exactly where I am without judgment, moving and breathing in the present moment. In my teacher training, I learned how to sequence poses. I learned cues to help move people from one pose to the next. I learned some about the anatomy of poses. And I am continuing to educate myself on the physical and spiritual practices of yoga to help further improve my teaching and my own practice. But knowledge is not yoga.
Yoga is a state of clarity and insight, where epiphany awakens the spirit, and suddenly everything is okay. No one can teach me how to be okay. I can’t teach you how to suddenly see clearly who you are or what you’re doing here. I can say, breathe. I can say, inhale half-way lift, exhale forward fold, inhale mountain pose. I can tell you to lengthen through the crown of the head. And I can attempt to inspire you with a quote I like, song lyrics, or a personal story of victory. I can tell you, allow your breath to bring you victory through each pose. And I do say these things. But it is you who must be present, listening to your own breath, tuning into your own body, patiently accepting your limits and bravely challenging yourself to new heights. I can give you the words, but you must tell your own story.