I taught my first real life public yoga class 5 years ago at a lululemon. I cried because I accidentally ended class 20 minutes early. I literally had no idea how to teach a class top to bottom.
In my experience, teaching yoga was a rather lonely experience (an unexpected reality). Early on in my teaching, other teachers weren’t so open and kind. Secretive about their processes, their music, and distant. I remember asking teachers with eagerness and budding newness how they did this or that. Or what songs they played. Sometimes I admitted to teachers how I was nervous (and excited) they took my classes. I’d receive words that said: “I don’t share my process with other teachers.” Or “I don’t share my music, get your own.” And, “you shouldn’t be nervous, that’s nonsense.” Some of the biggest walls came from teachers I loved, respected, and admired. I questioned myself so many times (and still do). And told myself this is how it is for the new kids on the block. I went quiet to protect myself from getting hurt. It’s crushingly small to live that way. Trying to fit in is a betrayal of the self. I watched Brene Brown’s Netflix special last night and cried (a must-watch). I mourned every time I let someone sitting in the cheap seats take up space in my heart. But also, I feel really grateful for every bit of “toughness and roughness.” Because it has shaped me and shown me to not give up and be radically inclusive. I’m grateful for all the teachers who are in the arena with me (you know who you are). I went where people said not go or told me to be careful. I had to keep on keeping on until I found my home and people that said, “we’ve got you.” They’re the ones that include, instead of push away or attempt to make one feel small. The ones that mirror my best and show me fierce-love and accountability. I see where I have failed in these areas and where my work is. Today, I feel clear and ready to keep failing forward. There’s a buzz in my body, a pep in my step. And I encourage you to do the same. Remember: failure is a forward motion.