I just have to get this off my chest.

This is for any yoga teachers or teachers in training who are feeling like they aren’t good enough, or don’t know enough, or don’t have a ‘yoga body’ (whatever the heck that is), or aren’t spiritual enough, or won’t be as fluent with their cues, or can’t demonstrate the fancy asanas, or, in general, feel like an imposter.

Yes, you can be a yoga teacher too.

In fact, we need you.

The world needs all kinds of yoga teachers.  Bendy teachers, and spiritual teachers, and super philosophical teachers, and also teachers in larger bodies, older bodies, differently abled bodies, older teachers, younger teachers, fitness-oriented teachers, meditation-oriented teachers, philosophy-oriented teachers, trauma sensitive teachers, LGBTQ+ teachers, indigenous teachers, teachers with diverse backgrounds, teachers who practice a faith, and teachers who don’t consider themselves ‘spiritual’.

We need all kinds of yoga teachers.

Of course, it’s okay to be a super fit young teacher, I started there, and it was an exciting time in my practice, and I enjoyed it immensely.  These days I’m learning to embrace being in an older body, a bigger body, a body with some pain and limitation, but also a lot of experience.  Now I have less fancy asanas to share, but a lot more wisdom.  Now I know better how to make yoga more accessible, more welcoming, and less exclusive and intimidating.

I think we need more yoga teachers who have been through a lot of life, who have dealt with pain, who have lived with anxiety or depression or physical disability, who have had to adapt their practice, who have had to carve out space for themselves in the yoga community – because they’ll know how to do that for their students, and they won’t need decades of experience to get there like I did.

I think we need more teachers who are willing to challenge the idea that there is a one way that yoga teachers look, talk, dress, eat, live.  I think we need teachers who can model that yoga becomes part of our lives, it doesn’t fix us or correct us, it partners us, guides us, holds us, supports us, gives us a safe space to be challenged, a safe space to rest, gives us skills to navigate our outer world and our inner world.  We don’t have to change ourselves to do yoga.  Yoga meets us where we are, and teaches us that who we are, right now, is acceptable, loveable, and capable.

In my own life, when I started yoga 25 years ago there were aspects that were really comfortable and joyful for me, like asana and philosophy. But there were areas where I struggled, like being still in Savasana, or feeling ‘devotional’ (er, I still don’t really know) but, especially just finding a place for myself in a culture where I really felt too loud, too physical, too…unspiritual.  It took me years to find my noisy, atheist, irreverent, overly excitable self acceptable in a yoga space, and I vowed that I would always be authentic with my students, I would always model self-love and self-acceptance, and that I would continue to challenge the narrative that yoga teachers are one particular way.

I hope that you will join me in this.

Yes, you can be a yoga teacher too.

In fact, we need you.

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