I’m not a teacher. Crowds make me nervous. And the idea of every eye in the room turning to look at me is enough to make my feel physically ill. Which is why I find it absolutely, positively crazy with a capitol C, that I’ve found myself doing something I never imagined myself doing in a million years: teaching.
No, I’m not teaching in the traditional sense of molding young minds in the educational system. I did, however, recently take the plunge to become a yoga instructor.
If you’ve been reading His Girl Friday for awhile, then you know that I really, really love yoga. You could say it is a passion of mine. I’ve done it since high school, used it as my gym credit in college (I love liberal art schools!), and could not have gotten through my last pregnancy without it. Plus, it is my favorite way to both work out my body while also finding a deep, total body stretch that leads to true relaxation. Yoga is the bomb.
But while I have always been a huge fan of yoga and have always enjoyed taking yoga classes, I never ever saw myself instructing. Why you ask? Well, simply put: people terrify me. I am your classic combo of type A-overachiever-perfection who is terrified of criticism, letting people down, or (gasp) the worst of all–the thought that some people might disagree with me or even not like me.
Seriously folks, this is the type of stuff that keeps me up at night.
But this yoga gig sorta fell into my lap. It was the type of thing that I knew God brought my way, and I had to believe that this was a door I had to walk through and trust that he was going to work out the details.
Then, recently, I heard a yoga instructor whom I deeply admire say this: “It’s none of your business what other people think about you.”
Wow. I think you could literally hear my mind being blown. It is so true. What other people think is a combination of their own judgements, insecurities, and personal experiences. What they think about us is so much more about them. And it’s none of our business.
I know who I am, and who I need to be. That’s all I’m responsible for.
So here I am, starting out on this new journey that is both terrifying and exhilarating. It is scary because it is new and there are a lot of unknowns, but it is exciting to do something that I love. It is exciting to offer this gift of yoga to others, and know that if I’m myself–just myself–then that is all I need to worry about. I don’t need to worry about perfection because yoga is about constant growth. I don’t need to worry about how others perceive me because that is their deal, not mine. And really, I just don’t need to worry. Because, as my good friend Laurie so beautifully reminded me:
I was not made to be scared, or feel weak or incapable. I was made to be fearless, powerful, and clear headed. By becoming a yoga instructor, I’m walking through a new door into some big unknowns, but that’s ok; it’s time to be brave.