I used to think my job as a yoga teacher was to "make people feel better."
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Quickly I realized this was misguided. I placed myself in the role of "healer," "helper," "fixer," heck, even teacher feels kind of off-- as if I somehow knew better. No, feeling better is YOUR work and practice. But I am no healer, and I can't make you feel better. I can keep opening doors--putting you in difficult situations that challenge you physically, emotionally and spiritually, but YOU do the work. I am just as much a student of yoga and life as you are.
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Trust that I mess up countless times everyday. And I think studentship in this discipline isn't just about getting into crazy contorted shapes: it is about actively looking for our blindspots, telling the truth even when it's hard, doing less harm in all relationships, being kind and compassionate, forgiving, regulating our thoughts. Being a student of life is my work and practice. I happen to use yoga as a framework --as a set of concepts and practices to guide me more gracefully through each day and moment.
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So if and when you feel "better" after a yoga class, don't put that on me. I am not the doer. The teachings arise in many ways and move through each of us. YOU walked through the door. YOU stepped on this path and unrolled your mat. YOU are teaching me how to be a good student. Do not confuse the teacher herself with the seat of the teacher and what that represents. A useful mantra that one of my teachers has shared that I often say to myself before teaching is: "it's not about me." These words remind me to TRY to get out of the way and let yoga be expressed as it has moved from my teachers and their teachers to and through me and my unique experiences.
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ALL this to say: be your own teacher. You do the work. You say yes, or often better, no. Okay? I love you sweet thing.

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