Learning Through Teaching Yoga

A few months ago, I was asked to teach kids yoga at a school. I doubted the offer for a few weeks as I was going through another depressive episode and any type of decision of this kind overwhelms me.

I received my 200 hour YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) certificate in early 2017, after practicing for over 10 years. I came across the practice through a college friend who came to get certified by Yogi Hari around 2008, soon after I moved to Miami. I was very hesitant to take a practice as it seemed too quiet and calm. I grew up playing soccer, volley, tennis and other high intensity sports. Many doctors had recommended I take it to heal from injuries I had. It took this friend to have me try it out. That night I threw up all night and my friend explained I was detoxing from negative emotions & tensions. Yogi Hari told me to keep practicing as he felt yoga and I had a long journey ahead together. Somehow, I agreed with his comment and took home his poster filled with the basic Vinyasa poses.

A few years after, I began to regularly practice at Margaret Pace Park in Miami. I had great teachers who began helping me heal past traumas and physical aches like consistent back pain from my stressful jobs at the time and a bad ankle I got from a fall in 2009. I’d been recommended yoga by physical therapists for many years but thought it was too “boring” and silent for someone like me who had enjoyed group sports growing up like soccer, volleyball and tennis.

When I did the teacher training, it was more with the objective to evolve in my self practice. As I continued to train, I did start to imagine sharing it with others as it had been so life changing as a practice for me. I thought how having learned some of these tools at a younger age would’ve been so helpful. I also thought how Corporate America could desperately use some more mindfulness. The point is that it is really never too late to start practicing.

Once I was certified, I started teaching a Power Hour yoga class before my full time job at the time. I’d teach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 am and had time to shower and make it to the office by 9 am. When I was pregnant, I taught prenatal yoga and then taught Mommy & Me classes once my son Mathias was born in 2018. We taught together for a year. Fast forward to a few months ago when Rafael from Pros2Go reached out to me. After lots of consideration with my husband and talks with my therapist and friends, I decided to give it a try. I now teach about 10 classes and over 100 students a week ages 0 to 10 and absolutely love it. I teach kids Yoga, PE and a brand new Wellness class where I cover breathing, nutrition, mental health and journaling. It’s been a safe and healing space. It’s always a joy to share with kids who are genuinely interested in the music and movement and the connection yoga brings. Of course, it comes with its challenges like keeping a group of twenty very active and distracted 6 year olds attention but nevertheless a very rewarding one. I recently also started to teach teens, which has been an amazing gift and an age group I’d like to focus on more from now on.

My uncle wisely said the other day that a professor of his once shared how when you teach, you teach yourself. And that is perhaps the best description of the continued healing it’s brought as well as more mental, physical and emotional connections.

Photo by Valeria Ushakova on Pexels.com

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