An open letter to the unbinding yoga teacher | Om Yoga Magazine
Oh yogi, here you are, finally a yoga teacher — living your dream. You chose this path to unbind yourself from the ‘normal’ social constructs, the 9–5, the chest-tightening office life but here you are feeling stuck, disillusioned and questioning your dharma.
All around you the voices of coaches and mentors, selling you the solution to a thriving yoga business, $10K months and all the freedom you dreamt of but your reality leaves you rushed and undernourished nutritionally, emotionally and spiritually. Groundhog day with a yoga mat, fancy leggings. Namaste.
Your soul led you here yet instead of freedom, have we all bound ourselves instead in other ways?
Maybe you find yourself sticking rigidly to what you have been taught by your teacher or mentor.
Maybe you are unconsciously using the same language, phrases and ideas that your own teachers share without questioning if they feel true and authentic to you.
Maybe you feel like you ‘should’ be doing things a certain way, behaving the way a yoga teacher “should” and creating your own binds and constructs of what being a yoga teacher ‘should’ be. That old worthiness chestnut again.
Conscious or unconscious, we crave boundaries and bind ourselves to ideals to try and meet an expectation, get the dopamine hit of achievement and recreate what we consider career progression just in a different way.
Our bank accounts, student numbers, followers, the advanced poses we can achieve… all ways to bind ourselves to our identity as a successful yoga teacher.
We want to connect with and nurture students whilst being told it’s not enough, we need to be more, create more, that our impact is not enough, nor is our income. It’s never enough. None of it is ever enough.
Wrestling with the yogi rulebook both current and past, trying to merge the worlds of non-attachment and measurable achievement-based business, it’s no wonder you feel burnt out.
I see you yogi.
Take a pause, put a hand to your heart, the other to your belly and take a deep slow breath. Sigh it out, letting go of the expectations, pressure and ideals. Do it again. Do it again and again until you feel you can really breathe. You teach others all day how to breathe and move, now it’s time for you.
You already know by now that being a yoga teacher is not as easy as you thought but does it really have to be this hard? This competitive? This exhausting?
I’ve taught for a number of years now and thousands of hours of teaching and training. My approach is not always traditional or purist, it’s not for everyone. All of what you are feeling right now, I’ve felt it, my own unique blend of it.
But unbinding means letting my soul lead me, even when that doesn’t all align with the way I’ve been taught.
It means questioning what feels true in my cells, taking only the things that resonate and allowing my clients to do the same.
Originally published at https://www.ommagazine.com on December 12, 2022.