A Letter to my Yoga Students

 I have been teaching yoga and movement classes for a few years now. I absolutely love my 'job'! 

I am humbled by the fact that you trust and allow me to guide you. I love creating new classes and finding ways in my own practice that helps enrich yours. I love holding space for the possibility of you meeting YOU! I am fascinated by the human body, I marvel at the relationship between our breath, physiology and our psyche, and boundless possibilities and limitations these relationships facilitate.

But my absolute favourite thing about my job, is YOU!  You are the true teachers. 

Nobody can teach you yoga, I think I speak for most yoga teachers when I say; We cannot teach you yoga, unity within you, your mind, body and soul and how to bring them all together, cannot be taught. We can only hold space and guide your body and your breath, towards each other. You are not only my teachers, but also your own.

From the depths of my plain, fallible, flaw-filled existence. I humbly thank you my yoga-student-teachers! 

Yoga truly saved my life a couple of years ago and my yoga journey has taken me from disconnected depths, inflexibility in every aspect and tons of uncertainty. Through many spirals and highlights, through as my caves and dark days, to a self-righteous samadhi and right back down to earth. And so it goes on, repeatedly, but every time the teachings, experience and levels of these lessons deepen. 

I am still learning, still growing. I am human. Yoga teachers, I'd like to think most yoga teachers anyway...  ARE ALL HUMAN. Here's what this errant yoga teacher; want you to know:

Don’t feel guilty about missing class.  
If you haven’t been to class in ages, don't feel embarrassed or shy to then suddenly join a class. I will still greet you with love and celebrate the opportunity you gave yourself when you decided to come. I cherish your presence, FOR YOU!

I don’t get jealous.
I want you to try other teachers!  When you see another style or teacher on the schedule, GO and try!   I will never be upset if you go to another studio. I love YOU! And I WANT you to find and do what SERVES you. I will even help you find an online teacher you resonate with, if you are stuck.

I remind you because I forget too.
When I tell you to 'come back to your breath" or to put your to do list aside'; it is not to point out your failure to 'be here now'. I say it, because I too, just caught my mind drifting. It's OKAY!

Don't look at the other yogis in class. 
When you catch yourself doing it, ask yourself why you are looking and how it serves you? Because, no matter what justification you claim; you will find it hard to convince yourself that it serves you.
We all have insecurities we are working through... Beating yourself up about how self-conscious you are only creates more self-consciousness; worries about doing things right only takes you away from yourself. 

I am here for you! 
If the class is small or you are the only one, take advantage of it!  Ask questions, ask for help on something, express your curiosities and challenges. It can only benefit us. I would love to hold space for you to deepen your practice, but I will not push you without your permission. Talk to me.

I don't get on my mat every day.
At times I will work on my private practice during every waking moment. Other times, I practice yoga on the go, while standing in a queue, the shower and even on the loo, but there are times, days, sometimes weeks that go by without a single private physical practice. Not too long ago, failure to get my bum on my mat, meant I was failing. It became just another reason for me to beat myself up. Ultimately creating even more distance between me and the union I was trying to maintain. 

Yoga, the word, is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. It refers to the union, not just union of your own mind, body and breath; but also, and ultimately, the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness. Isn't this exciting!?? 

So my dearest student, I ask you to liberate yourself. Adjust the definition of YOGA, say unification and think totality. Yoga is NOT limited to the 'yoga' we do on our mats. 

I want you to have fun and enjoy YOURSELF!
Most days I joke in class, even swear. I eat meat, drink alcohol and love sweets! This is not a disrespect towards the industry, or what the industry has claimed as AUTHENTIC. I admit, these habits are not in alignment with a fully fledged yogic existence. But THIS is where I am right now. I do not know where else life and this practice will take me and I don't NEED to know if I am participating and enjoying the journey there. 

Embrace your practice as your own, your body and breath, trying to dance in unison, enabling you to work through everything else. Take your practice with you when you leave the studio. Yoga is not restricted to a space or a time, it's boundless.

Thank you again my yoga student teachers!! I love watching US grow 

See you on the mat. Take care whilst off the it