During one of our lessons, Paalu spoke about the drop off rate of yoga teachers because yoga teaching takes a lot from the teacher (or something along those lines). At every class, the students are absorbing energy, information and whatnot. This can take a toll and thus, teaching may not be for everyone.
It got me thinking because I am a 100 per cent introvert. Standing in front of a class, a meeting or speaking in front of people – basically being around people and talking – is an effort. Don’t be mistaken, introversion is not the same as being shy and it’s not that we don’t like socialising. I like meeting new people and having a good conversation, just not with 10 people simultaneously, and alone time is essential to recharge.
Yoga teaching thus seems to be the absolute opposite of what a typical introvert would enjoy – to be engaging; to address a crowd (audibly); having all eyes on you and people hanging on to every word. When I signed up for YTT, my main objective was to deepen my practice and knowledge about yoga rather than teaching commercially. Part of that was also because I figured extroverts made better yoga teachers.
I am still not thinking about teaching commercially but I find myself enjoying the process of lesson planning and delivering those classes to some extent. Perhaps this is where my professional job has come in handy, having trained me well to be the sometimes extroverted introvert. I am also reminded of the book “Quiet” by Susan Cain, which talks about the role of introverts within society. So maybe this shouldn’t be thought of as an obstacle, if I ever decide to pursue teaching down the road. Teaching is about showing what you have to offer. As Weiling said, an important thing about teaching yoga is to be yourself; teach genuinely and don’t wear a mask.
After all, isn’t that what yoga is about – an invitation to come to the mat as you are, in that space and time.
YTT March 2018 (Weekend)