Life After YTT

The most common question I get now that I've completed my yoga teacher training requirements is something along the lines of what's next. Am I going to teach full time, do I have a studio I want to teach at, when is the next class??? All great questions so I thought I'd share my thoughts on this.

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self
Yoga is the guru, I am just the guide.

As I mentioned in my last blog post about my experience I feel timing for things works out as it's meant to and it just happened to work out that as I finished my yoga teacher training requirements I also got a new job. I was at my last job for just over seven years. An absolute record for me. I typically leave jobs because I get bored so in the past it's been around a year and a half or maybe two years before I'm ready to move on to the next thing because I'm bored or the work environment was so bad there was no choice but to get out and into something better. I managed to work through seven years in my past job because the work felt so important (Early childhood educational opportunities were, and still are, something that has supported Russell and I want every child who needs that support to receive it.) and because I adore the people I have worked with through the years. Even with these things I realized I was heading down the path of being bored and apathetic and I didn't want all we'd built together to fall apart because it was time for me to move on. I found an opportunity that felt like a good next step in my career and gratefully I got it. I'm jumping back into the for-profit world at Zions Bancorporation (Slightly ironic because Syl started teaching yoga when she worked for a bank...) supporting strategies around women in tech and the future of the workforce. It's work I'm passionate about and exciting but also makes me hesitant to commit to a regular work schedule until I get in my role and see how I feel. For now, I'm anticipating just teaching by request when people are committed to being there.

Yoga books, manual, and computer with yoga teacher training video pulled up
There's so much to study and learn!

When I think about teaching I do think it would be amazing to teach in a beautiful studio setting with mats, blocks, straps, and bolsters provided for students but I also know that that means commitment, money out, and no guarantee of money in. I don't practice anywhere to have a connection to a particular studio and knowing I will be settling into a new job jumping into a studio or gym situation doesn't seem like the right fit for me. Honestly, I don't know if it will ever be the right fit for me. I feel it's really important for me to provide yoga in a way that allows it to be accessible for all which could mean donation based classes where someone can participate for free because someone else can afford to "over pay" balancing things out. When I found yoga again as an adult I realized the greatest impact it had was on my mental health and I don't want anyone who is paying hundreds of dollars a month on therapy to not be able to access this complementary practice because it's just too expensive. On the flip side if you can afford to pay then I want you to pay what you think our time together is worth. Since I'm not doing this as my full time job at this point I feel I can have the option to teach in this way, at least for now, though this model doesn't really fit into a yoga studio.

Yoga is not about self-improvement, it is about self-acceptance
Words of wisdom to consider

Finally, as I've dug into the roots of yoga I've come to understand the importance of honoring the past and not being a part of the cultural appropriation of yoga. Yeah, yeah I know some of you are groaning and thinking uh oh here comes the privilege police but I do feel we need to understand where things come from and honor that if we intend to profit from or teach something. Yoga used to be a free practice, handed down from person to person in face-to-face study, and typically practiced by men. Additionally yoga was very focused on the breath work and connection of mind/body/soul which to me is now important. (Don't worry, when I first started my yoga teacher training I kind of groaned at learning the history too. Now I'm excited to learn more and understand my part in the future of yoga.) Now yoga is often associated with high priced products, expensive studios, and white hyper-flexible skinny women. I am not as eloquent as I would like to be on this topic and I am still internalizing this information and figuring out what it means to me as a new yoga teacher but you can learn more on the Yoga is Dead podcast or by checking out the work of Susanna Barkataki. Based on this I want to continue to study yoga and integrate what I learn into how I teach. I do believe yoga can be for everyone but I also believe that needs to be done with care and concern for each individual who steps into your space.

Two parallel yoga mats with blocks, bolsters, and a yoga manual in between
Yoga at home is my jam. I love being able to practice anywhere and anytime.

For me, what's next, means learning more and continuing to practice myself. I am better when my personal practice is strong and I know I can only improve as a teacher if I keep learning and listen for feedback when it's shared with me. I hope that if digging deep and learning new things is something you value that you'll continue to follow my journey and perhaps join me in person for some yoga one day. I know, I'm excited to keep learning and hopefully take the next level training so I can provide deeper support to the people who practice with me.

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