I have (commercially) coached gymnastics classes and taught dance classes before, but over the years, I find myself distancing myself from teaching for a few reasons.
First of all, I feel uncomfortable teaching if I find that I, myself, is not past being a basic practitioner, or cannot execute x asana/tumble/dance move. I believe strongly in knowing your material both in theory and embodied knowledge. As a colleague once put it, it’s like asking a fish to teach you how to walk on land. Accordingly, I am interested in making sure that I deepen my own practice/hone my own skills before attempting to offer something outside of me. Feeling inadequate is really no fun at all.
Second, teaching drains me. As Paalu said, students expect a lot from you, whether they are adults, teenagers, or 5 year-old kids. Besides having to cater to varying temperaments and energy levels, students want to learn and you genuinely want to help them grow – but that also means you invest a huge amount of energy outside of yourself and just two hours later, I need to retreat to my corner to recharge. How am I supposed to impart anything if two hours is all I have in my battery?!
All that said and done, I think of the few teachers in my life that I give gratitude to on a daily basis. I think less about their accomplishments and more about how their character (and consequently, the way they approach things and treat others) has influenced the person I am today. At the end of the day, teaching is my way of “paying forward” the gratitude and lessons I’ve had, to share what I do know and feel and learn, in hopes that others might access their bodies and selves in a similar fashion, in hopes that my person is valuable beyond its gross vessel.
At this point, I am probably most comfortable teaching ultra beginner/beginner, and that will stay that way for a long time. I’m not sure when I’m going to teach (or if anyone even wants to take class from me haha) and even if I don’t end up doing so, I am pretty darn grateful for the opportunity to have these 6 weeks of work and hope I can pay it forward somehow.
“We are not observers of the universe but its co-creators.” – Deepak Chopra
th-knees, Sept-Oct 2014 batch