Amanda Moore is a health and wellness coach, blogger, and yoga teacher working with people who are ready to let go of self-limiting beliefs, bust through fears, and begin living their biggest, most wild dreams. Through carefully crafted one-on-one or group coaching sessions, she empowers her clients to reach big, dig deep and dissolve what’s holding them back so they can build their best lives. Amanda is a graduate of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program.
When I enrolled in the Whole Life Yoga 200 hour teacher training program I couldn’t even wrap my head around the idea of actually teaching at the end of the 10 months. How was I, little old cautious, timid me going to get in front of people and teach them for 75 minutes?
What I admired most about my favorite teachers were the insightful words that effortlessly left their lips and left a mark on my soul. I wanted to be THAT kind of teacher.
The October after graduation I taught my first class. I showed up, script in hand, wise words ready to be said. I was ready to make a difference in others’ lives. However, when I opened my mouth to speak these profound words, nothing inspiring came. I found myself just going through the motions of teaching.
I continued to show up, and so did my students. I continued to teach off of my script. I wasn’t a bad teacher, I just didn’t feel connected to what I was doing. Something felt off, and I found myself dreading class because I wasn’t able to deliver what I thought I was supposed to.
What was going on, I wondered? This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Did I really want to teach yoga? Was there something deeper tugging at my soul? I continued to teach, but I still felt stale. I used the proper language, spoke like a true yogi and came ready with my class tailored around a certain theme. But still, something was missing.
On a cool morning late last spring, I drove to the studio, exhausted from subbing, being back in school and surviving the chaos that life sometimes brings. I sank down in the driver’s seat and sighed, thinking that I just didn’t have it in me to put on my ‘yoga teacher show.’ Then it hit me. No wonder I was exhausted!
I climbed out of my car with new found energy and peace in my heart. I had found the missing link. I had been so consumed by the idea of being a perfect yoga teacher that I forgot to be myself.
“I’m done,” I said to myself. I’m done trying to be someone I’m not. As my students and I sat in silence that day, I silently whispered to my inner guide, “Give me the words that need be heard and help me to speak directly from my heart.”
What came out of my mouth surprised me. It wasn’t something profound, but something that made us all giggle. A lightness fell over the room. My students filled the room with tiny smiles.
My teaching was forever changed.
I now connect with my students in a deeper, more authentic way. And isn’t that the goal of yoga anyway? Finding your authenticity, letting go of the filters in which we perceive ourselves and others?
For those of you just starting to teach or exploring the idea of teaching, here’s my advice: Give up the goal of being the perfect teacher and let your own personality come through. Speak from what’s yearning to be said from deep within. Listen to yourself; ask yourself for wisdom and the words need to be heard. Or heck, don’t say much of anything other than the instructions needed to keep your students safe.
Don’t try to teach like someone else because it will feel untrue and yucky and heavy on your heart. Teach because you believe in the power of yoga and the power to share an important message with others.
Give your students, and most importantly, yourself that gift.
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series. MURDER STRIKES A POSE is available for preorder now from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Whole Life Yoga, and other retailers!