From Anxiety to Enlightenment: How Teaching Yoga Transformed My Life Forever
As I sit here, cross-legged on my mat (because how else do you write blog posts?), still smiling at my students' faces as they left the studio, I am reminded of yoga's profound impact on my life. It's hard to believe that less than a decade ago, I had no idea what I was doing with my life, and was searching for meaning and purpose. But now, as a yoga teacher, I feel more centered, grounded, and fulfilled than ever before. Today, I want to share with you the life-changing reasons why I teach yoga and how this ancient practice has transformed my mind, body, and spirit. So grab your favorite tea, settle in, and let's embark on this journey of self-discovery together.
How and Why I Became a Yoga Teacher
My path to teaching yoga was not a well-thought-through, over-prepared decision. I had always made big decisions quickly, based on my gut and the information at hand (or, some might say, impulsively!)
I decided to extend my Thailand holiday indefinitely and do my dive master training when I was 22 (because I liked scuba diving and the beach, and why not), I decided to leave after 4 years there and go back to the UK to try a career in TV production (I lasted 2 years before running back to my diving life in Thailand), and I decided to leave Australia and check out Bali (because I don't like winters) when I was 31.
All this sounds - and was! - incredible to experience, but the flip side was that I was getting older and I had no career (I didn't want to go back to diving), no roots, and no idea what to do next. I had always been impulsive, and beginning to practice yoga was one of the best things to center and ground me. In Bali, all my friends had remote jobs and real careers, whilst I was trying my hand at many things, but was master of none.
Other than my yoga practice, I was adrift, bobbing along in the Indonesian ocean with no rudder. The feeling of being left behind, of being lost, and the subsequent comparing of my life choices to other more conventional ones grew and grew. Was it too late for me? Would I always be a jack of all trades? What was I doing with my life? Could I ever have a purpose?
"The feeling of being left behind, of being lost, and the subsequent comparing of my life choices to others grew and grew"
So when my housemate in Bali (and now one of my best friends) asked if I would run a surf and yoga retreat with her in Portugal, I had nothing to lose. I loved yoga, I had been a great dive instructor, so why not do a teacher training and go from there? If nothing else, it would be a great experience, and a golden opportunity to learn more about this practice I had fallen in love with over the past 4 years
So 4 months later I went to India to do my yoga teacher training. I did not learn how to teach, but I did learn a lot about philosophy, meditation and pranayama, which I use in my classes and trainings today.
3 days after flying back from India, I had my very first class at our very first retreat...
And something happened
Once I got past the nerves, I found myself in flow mode. Words came out of my mouth that I didn't know were within me, I felt electric, radiantly alive, and totally aligned with - well, with everything. With the sky above us, the ocean next to us, and most of all the people sharing this experience with me. This was my purpose. This is how I was to give meaning to my life. By helping others to connect to the wonder of the universe, starting with the wonder that is within them
"This is how I was to give meaning to my life. By helping others to connect to the wonder of the universe, starting with the wonder that's within them"
I moved to Munich, Germany and rented some studio spaces and began to teach. The rest is history, giving retreats in Portugal and teaching public, private and corporate classes in Munich.
Teaching full-time, I became the fittest, strongest and most flexible I have ever been. It has taught me resilience when no one showed up to my classes, innovation to teach outside studios in special locations, organisation in dealing with an ever-changing schedule, cooperation by teaming up with other teachers and styles, and commitment to give my best to my students no matter what was happening in my personal life.
No more anxiety about my life choices, no more taking things personally, no more impulsivity. Instead, I am grounded in the truth of who I am, where I am, and what I am. And it took teaching yoga to get me here
Teaching yoga fulfills me in a way no other job (and I've had a lot!) could do. It had given me my purpose in life, and deepened my own practice in uncountable ways.
"I am grounded in the truth of who I am, where I am, and what I am"
Why I care so much about helping people connect
I care about helping people uncover their truest selves because the energy they give out as they do so fills my cup up to the brim. When a client nails a pose, or you see that something really resonated, their whole being lifts, and so does mine by extension. It's a co-creation of magical experiences that alone, I could never accomplish. We really do rise by lifting others. When we help someone else, it comes back even more.
Altruism is a well-documented method in modern psychology. It is a tried and tested way of elevating your own feelings of self-worth, mood, and well-being. And what better way to give back than to teach yoga
"It's a co-creation of magical experiences that alone, I could never accomplish"
My old life on the beaches of Asia and Australia was incredible, but it was also a transient, unsubstantiated life as people and jobs came and went. Now, I have put down roots. I have deep connections to friends, family, students (some who even became great friends), my body, the nature that is all around us, and most of all to myself. I still have my playful, wild side, and this side flourishes because of the deep roots I put down through teaching yoga. I am grounded and centered, and also flexible and flowing. I am both the strong roots and the dancing leaves.
"I still have my playful, wild side, and this side flourishes because of the deep roots I put down through teaching yoga"
Teaching yoga transformed my life. Imagine what a yoga teacher training can do for you
Do you want to teach yoga or deepen your practice? What is your top reason for wanting to do so? I'd love to hear your reasons and answer any questions you have. Let me know in a DM or email! Links below
200-hour Yoga Teacher Training starts in September 2023, with 1 week in Portugal and online weekend modules.
Voice Coaching and breathwork module and Anatomy module also available as individual trainings