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The Teacher In Me

The teacher in me is a cheerleader. Is a supporter. As I’ve mentioned, isn’t likely to play devil’s advocate, but will always tell you YOU CAN DO IT until we’re both blue in the face.

In yoga, at the end of classes, we all sit facing each other, say something to the effect of ‘the teacher in me honors the teacher in you and in all things; namaste,’ and we bow.

That resonated a little deeper today, as one of the instructors we worked with led us out of final savasana (’shuh-voss-uh-nuh,’ the last resting pose, also known as ‘corpse pose’) after we completed a group practice teaching class.

As we sat there with spines long, eyes closed, and hands at heart center, she offered these words:

The teachers in us honor and thank the teachers in each and every one of you and your presence and your focus here in this time.


I was thinking about that as I drove home. About how students will be looking to us as guidance through their practice, and also how we as teachers will be looking at our students to identify what to practice and how to set them up safely. We’re a bunch of yogis learning from experienced instructors, from each other, from books, and from experiencing our own bodies in each of the postures.

We do a practice teaching exercise called a Round Robin, where essentially one person teaches a short portion of the class through a particular sequence and then someone else steps up. We’ve done this a few times with each other, so we’re teaching students – ourselves – that are familiar with the postures, that can anticipate the next move, and sometimes start to move into it before it’s cued, either out of habit or to help our fellow teachers-in-training if they seem to be searching for the next transition.

I’ve noticed going through this a couple of times now that there are some of us that will always be a half-second ahead, almost encouraging you, willing you to keep moving, keep instructing, a silent cry of YOU CAN DO IT! emanates from their spirits.

And there are others who know the postures but don’t move until you tell them exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. And if you cue them wrong, they stay there until you figure it out.

At first, I found myself most grateful for the yogis that were a half-step ahead. Nerves could be slightly squashed by watching someone moving in the direction you were about to lead the class. As for the rest of them, I remember thinking, ‘Come on… help me out!’

And then I realized they were helping me out, in the best way they could. The fact that they allowed me to experience a pause, my nerves, a challenge, I was eventually able to work through it. I remembered the places I got stuck and was able to overcome those, speaking more confidently and more clearly the next time.

I thought through this as I drove home, letting the instructor’s words sink in:

The teachers in us honor and thank the teachers in each and every one of you.

And I wondered what they’d learned from helping us refine our teaching practice. I absorbed what I’d learned in their feedback (I talk fast when I’m nervous, no news there!). Then I took a moment in my heart and in my head to thank the teachers in my class who show compassion and guidance by sneaking a back foot down half a second early in Warrior II so I remember to go there next, and to the ones that show patience and ‘I know you know this’ kind of support when they keep facing the sidewall because I never told them to turn towards the mirror again.

The teacher in me – the supporter, the nurturer, the always a ‘you can do it!’ kind of person, honors and thanks the teacher in you with the different words and the different style and the different lessons, and in all things.

What about you? Have you had an experience where someone’s teaching style or a friend’s style of support was so different from yours, and yet so valuable to experience? I’d love to hear about it!

Oh, and namaste.


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