So I’ve been teaching yoga on and off now for about two and a half years, and I’ve recently come to several conclusions about teaching. The first and most important is that learning how to teach yoga is the best thing that I ever could have done for myself. Secondly, teaching yoga is the bomb-diggity. Thirdly, most people fail to grasp what it is, exactly, that I do. I told someone once that being a yoga instructor is kind of like if Dumbledore also taught people how to take care of their bodies through interpretive dance, but they either didn’t get the reference or the metaphor got away from me.
I get the added benefit of teaching yoga with my mom at her studio. This is especially awesome because I can ask her yoga and anatomy questions at absurd hours, because we’ve also dragged my dad down the yoga hole, and because wearing yoga pants at all times is completely acceptable.
1. Teaching yoga taught me how to care about other people.
That makes me sound like a terrible person, so I’ll rephrase slightly. Teaching yoga made me want to see strangers succeed. This started out as me seeing their success as a measure of how good of a teacher I was, but now I truly get a kick out of watching my students start to master poses that used to intimidate them.
2. It taught me how to motivate myself.
In order to teach yoga, you actually have to do yoga. This is self-explainatory. However, just because I teach exercise doesn’t mean I like to exercise. I find it as hard to drag myself down to the studio as the next girl, especially when it’s nice out or there’s a new episode of How I Met your Mother on. Teaching yoga made me realize that the more I practiced myself, the better I was at teaching.
3. It makes me more confident and more eloquent.
For a writer (or perhaps because I’m a writer) I trip over my speech a lot. I rely a lot on hand gestures, body language, sound effects, and nonsense words, I mumble, and I mispronounce things in practically every sentence I make in casual conversation.When I teach yoga, I actually have to make some sense. It’s been an uphill battle, but every once in a while I even manage a word or two.
So what can we learn from this, internet, besides that yoga is awesome? That there are hidden benefits to every job you really take on. Whoa, right? Who knew that that 12 hour shift at McD’s was actually good for you?
Jokes aside, making a list of the things I like about the jobs I work has made those tasks – however mundane – seem a little better, brighter, and worthwhile.
Try it out and tell me how it works for you!