I started yoga teacher training in January and here I am in May teaching practicum classes in the community. I wanted to be a yoga teacher for so long and I’m really proud of myself for putting myself out there and actually finally, doing it. Life has been hard and it felt like a lot on my plate with personal stuff but then trying to set aside time to learn the material, be in the classroom, be in the studio, practice yoga, practice what I’m going to teach, plan classes, and all of the physical and mental aspects that go into it, is a lot. However, it was the perfect timing to do the training because it was a healthy outlet that I leaned into during hard times. It gave me the space to grieve, cry, connect, be myself, and build my confidence back up. Teaching people is a whole new level of strength and takes a lot of confidence. It can feel hard speaking in front of people when you internally feel insecure and when your outer world is chaos. I had many moments where I told myself, “I can’t do this.” I really wanted to give up because I thought maybe I am taking on too much right now and I don’t know if I can lead people to healing right now. Society makes us feel we have to be fully healed in order to help others along their healing path, but after this experience I don’t agree with that. I think that it can make us even more powerful teachers if we can be going through so much chaos but be able to still get up there and be brave to empower others. To be able to give empathy to others and let people know that their not alone in the journey of life. To put ourselves out there into the world and be brave enough to not give up. To not give in to unhealthy past coping mechanisms but pouring extra love into ourselves and the community to give back, is a path towards healing.
I taught my first community class last weekend at a beautiful space in the city I live in. It is small and intimate and the perfect little place to feel connected to one another. This was in a non-heated studio and I taught a slower flow, which I really love doing because I feel I can be authentic and really take my time with it. I get really caught up in remembering a lot of content and moving fast. My heart felt so full after that class! Then, this past weekend I taught Saturday & Sunday at the studio I always go to. This is the same studio I’m doing my yoga training through. The space means a lot to me and is my second home. It is a place where I have leaned on during difficult times and the teachers and employees there are some of my closest friends. It is a safe space but also a place where I really look up to the teachers and how strong and empowering they are. I want to be that. I want to be able to give people the feeling that they have given me after leaving one of their classes.
It feels more intimidating at my home studio because of how much the space means to me. With that being said, I also put a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself to be perfect and to be a good leader there. I second guess my ability a lot and am a little bit of a perfectionist and just want to do well. I hope to teach at the studio if I do well in my audition and so to me it almost felt like an audition to show them what I can do. Before my first class Saturday, I was an absolute anxious WRECK. I do deal with a lot of anxiety which leads me to overthinking, leading to worse case scenrios, stomach aches, frequent bathroom breaks, losing my train of thought, and internally critizing myself. I thought, “What if I completely miss all of the words and poses and just freeze!?” All of these, “What if,” moments flooded through my mind to the point my body was feeling weak and my stomach hurt.
The thing is, I jumped in and taught the hour class and it wasn’t perfect but I know that I gave my all and my heart was in it. The first 10 minutes, I was so scared being in front commanding and leading a room full of students. It felt like the old insecure Tuscany who didn’t have a voice was slowly slipping away as the minutes went on. Every command, every pose, every quote, and movement was shedding a layer of the doubt I have carried with me for so long. Towards the end of class, I almost cried just looking around the room at these beautiful souls who spent their Saturday morning with me, all laying there looking in bliss in savasana (final resting pose). I thought, “I did it, I actually did it.” It was great to rip the bandaid off and just go in there and do it! It’s so easy to get caught up on what could go wrong instead of focusing on what could go right. Also, people don’t notice all the little things that you notice about yourself. As long as your heart is in the right place and you go in there and just be yourself, then people leave feeling good and thankful for you taking the time to hold space for them.
I’m thankful my mentor showed up for me and provided helpful and amazing feedback. The feedback is really helpful and appreciated. You have to be open to feedback and not be defensive and take every opportunity for growth. The whole part of practicums is to continue to learn each time you teach and find things that work for you and change things that don’t. That is the beautiful part about teaching is that you are in control. You are in control of your life and your teaching moments and that is something nobody can take away from you.
I taught my third class the next day at my same studio and what a difference! I didn’t feel as anxious and I felt more calm and confident. I didn’t rely on my notes as much and walked around the room. I felt more empowered and strong. I felt like I was actually a teacher at that moment and I was hopefully helping others in their journey. I had a lot of new students and some even BRAND NEW to yoga in general. I felt honored for this being their first teacher. I remember my first yoga teacher and experience and so I took a lot of pride in that but also really wanted them to feel safe to want to try yoga again after my class. I hope I did that. The thing is, the more we practice something and the more we let go of the negative thoughts- and instead think about the ways we WILL lead a beautiful class, then the more our authentic voice shines and we just do the damn thing!
After that class, I was in tears of joy just being very grateful that I had the opportunity to go deeper in my yoga practice throughout this journey. To become a yoga teacher and be in a room to inspire and lift others up. It was a moment of, wow, I am a yoga teacher. I did this. I can do this. This is happening! It really felt like an epiphney moment and a moment where life started to make sense and I found my place in the world. I found a new strength within me that I always knew I had but I’m finally stepping out of my own way and letting myself shine. I’m finally stepping out of the darkness, insecurities, and I’m stepping into this confidence era where I am capable and willing of all these beautiful things. I need to be more patient with myself and give myself more compassion and grace. The same grace I give others I need to pour into myself and I know that I can do it.
Life is filled with moments that invite us to step outside of our comfort zone. To step into our confidence and to overcome fears that we never thought we would. It invites us to live our lives authentically and show the world who we truly are and not be afraid of that. I’m so thankful for this journey because now I get to teach students yoga but also I had the opportunity to go deeper within myself and grow. It gave me the chance to regain my power back and to help others in their journey. For me, yoga always helped me through the hardest of times and so if I can be a light in someone else’s hard life, then I really hope I can be. I’m really excited to see all of the possibilities and opportunities that will come throughout this experience.
So, go, step outside of your comfort zone. Do not SECOND GUESS YOURSELF. You’re capable. You are WORTHY! Take the leap.
Love & Light,
Thank you to all those who came to support me during my classes it truly meant the world to me. xoxo