Confessions of a Yoga Teacher

There’s a common misconception that us Yoga Teachers have got it all together and are shining examples of enlightenment.

I don’t blame you for thinking it, but although it may seem like we’re perfectly at peace living our harmonious and healthy lives, the truth is, we’re honestly just real life people who sometimes struggle to practice what we preach.

To reassure you all that I’m just a normal, not always happy, not always healthy, human being, here are a few confessions and secrets that I’d like to share…

1) I hate the sound of my own voice.

This was a genuine consideration of mine when deciding whether to do my teacher training. I honestly doubted that anyone would enjoy listening to me guide them through a practice. I still cringe when I have to hear myself on a video, which is the main thing holding me back from doing online classes.

2) I struggle to fully switch off during other people’s classes.

Since becoming a Yoga Teacher, I notice so much more than I did before. I’m overly aware of the sequencing of a class, I listen to the way a teacher cues alignment points or explains movements, and I try so hard to be ‘perfect’ in my postures in case anyone thinks I’m a bad teacher. It’s silly, I know, but I can’t help it. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely love the class and always enjoy myself, but in the back of my mind I’m forever thinking about things and taking mental notes.

3) I don’t practice yoga everyday.

I don’t feel guilty about it either. I want to make sure it never becomes a chore or a commitment I can’t keep up. I admit I should probably motivate myself a bit more, but right now I’m content just going with the flow, whether that’s two hours on my mat, or just taking a deep breath once in a while.

4) I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram.

Although there are many positives to social media, it does have a habit of filtering out the hard times. Despite working as a Marketing Manager before making the switch to teaching, you’ll notice pretty quickly that I’m not so hot with my own social media channels. Even though I know I should be ‘selling’ myself and my classes with pretty pictures, it’s not my style, and that’s okay. On the rare occasions I do try and take pictures of myself, I’m always so critical of how I look and never end up posting them. I also regularly unfollow other Instagram yogis because they affect my self esteem.

5) I can’t do some of the things I teach in my intermediate classes.

I don’t think that should stop my students though so I still include options that are almost impossible for me. I try to demonstrate as much as I can, but there are some postures where I’m simply not strong or flexible enough to show. The other week we practiced the ‘jump through’ and that’s so hard for me. I also have a bad back so I don’t do Wheel or deep backbends in my personal practice but I’m happy to teach them.

6) I don’t always listen to my body.

I hurt my wrists last year and they were pretty useless for 10 months. I can just about do arm balances and handstands again now but it frustrates me so much that I’m not as good as I used to be. I sometimes push myself too far and even though my wrists start to hurt I carry on, determined to build my strength back up. Afterwards I get super angry at myself. I know exactly what I’d say to a student in this situation, but for some reason I don’t seem to follow my own advice!

7) I don’t believe in crystals.

There. I said it. I think they’re really pretty, but I’m not convinced they have super powers.

So, the secrets are out. I’m far from perfect, and if it wasn’t for yoga, I’d probably be a little more crazy and a little less composed! ;)

Thank you for reading.

Jess

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