Becoming a yoga teacher when you're not a classic Yogi

The idea to certify as a yoga teacher took root at the end of last year. It has crossed my mind a few times over the years, but I wasn’t the type; not strong enough, not spiritual enough, not zen enough… After a long journey of self discovery I decided that learning to teach yoga would also mean learning the foundation of yoga. Because in order to teach I must first learn, right? So no, I didn’t have the calm and cool of a yoga teacher, but maybe that’s precisely a reason to learn?

I spent the week leading up to the teacher training frantically working on my sun salutation, expecting that everyone I meet at the course will be masters at posture, fluent in sanskrit and know all the wisdoms to breath and meditation. I bought all the books, read all the books, and still continued to panic daily over my lack of knowledge.

The girls I meet at the course were not the all-knowing, zen-like creatures I had expected. We all came in with the same intention; to learn about yoga and to improve our practice. We all had questions and doubts and we are all on a journey. While I am looking at someone in the class wishing I was that good at yoga, they are looking back thinking the same thing. It’s funny how this works!

While I didn’t walk out one month later with infinite wisdom of posture, pranayama and meditation, I walked out with a better understanding of yoga. I also came out with a more realistic understanding of teaching and teachers, not as superhuman beings, but as work-in-progress, doing the best they [we] can with the tools that are available. I can see all my previous yoga teachers through a different, more humane light. Their knowledge and precision didn’t fall out of the sky; once upon a time they too were fresh and new yoga teachers right out of school. Suddenly not being the type doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe I will become a calm and cool yoga practitioner/ teacher one day, or maybe I’ll just do fine without it.

Ana-Marija Spajic

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