I sat there on my mat, ready for my second yoga class on my first day of yoga teacher training. This was our class with the school’s founder, Arvind Basliyal, and I was feeling a bit intimidated, especially after a long first day. He walked past us, sat on his mat, and asked us a simple question,
“How many of you plan on teaching yoga after this?”
A few hands went up in the air, but most people put their arm half-way up and shook their hand back and forth. I was in good company with those who had no idea where this yoga teacher training would lead them.
Visiting India was something I always knew I would do, something deep within me always called me to the country. I knew that when I finally got there, I wanted to practice yoga. It just seemed like something I had to do, after all this was where yoga was born. I wanted the experience, but it wasn’t until years later that I thought about a training program.
Flash forward to the autumn of 2014 when I started practicing aerial yoga. It quickly became a love of mine, and crucial in helping me rediscover my love of yoga, something I first started when I was eighteen, but only practiced on and off. It was during this time, that I decided a trip to India with yoga as the focus was in my near future. My plan was just to spend a month deepening my practice and really mastering my alignment and the asanas I had always struggled with.
Then, I quit my job, and decided that one of the first things I would do would be to head to India for my yoga teacher training. At least if writing wasn’t bringing in money, I could try teaching, even if I wasn’t sure it was what I wanted to do. Would I be confident enough to teach yoga? With my teaching background I thought I had a chance, but still, I wasn’t sure.
Those doubts stayed with me even on the first day of training when our instructor, Arvind, asked if we planned on teaching. I was glad others felt the same way and decided to see how I felt throughout the course. I loved yoga, but I wasn’t sure how’d I’d feel after three hours a day of it, plus pranayama, anatomy, and philosophy. But, immediately, I found I loved nothing more than spending my days this way.
Upon returning home, I knew I wanted to teach, but I wasn’t sure where to start. Having just quit a job, I didn’t really want to work for someone. I had known for a while that I wanted to be my own boss, or at least give it a try, so I decided against applying to work at a studio. Instead, my cousin suggested small group classes at her house with some friends, just to get started. I could work on my confidence in teaching and make some money, and her and her friends could get affordable and convenient classes. Together, we called it Wandering Yoga, which just made sense.
Now, I am ten-weeks in with that group and it keeps growing. I am able to see their progress and really help them reach their yoga goals. I also love lesson planning, something I used to despise as a classroom teacher. Clearly, planning yoga sequences and music to go along with it is more fun than aligning reading and writing lessons to the Common Core.
Teaching yoga also allows me flexibility, which I need with my writing career. I can work at times that work for me, and as a writer who feels most inspired between the hours of 10pm and 2am, being able to sleep in and start my yoga classes in the afternoon and evenings is exactly what I need.
In addition to my class with my cousin and her friends, I have also added classes with the teachers at my old high school. I know how hard teaching is today and how sometimes it’s just nice to have a workout that’s brought to you, especially one that includes some stress relief. So two days a week, I work with the teachers and bring them a little extra zen. Hopefully, I can extend this offer to other teachers and school districts, as well.
The bonus in all of this is that I get to wander, which is what I like to think I do best. I need and crave change, and I hate routine; I tried it, actually I did more than that, I lived it for eight years, and I know that it just doesn’t work for me. With Wandering Yoga, I get to have a different “office” every single day, and that’s exactly what makes my heart happy.
My plan is to wander as much as I can with my yoga teaching. I want to teach more small groups, private lessons, and yoga for special occasions, such as the morning of a wedding or for corporate events. Along with that, I also am looking for short term jobs at resorts, especially for the winter months, so I can still get in as much travel as possible. With this new venture, the possibilities are endless.
So without further ado, here is the new site: Wandering Yoga. Check it out and let me know what you think. In the coming months, I am planning on adding a few unique yoga events, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted.