From Allie Lloyd
Faculty Teaching Assistant
The other week I needed a refresh for my yoga practice. A friend offered me a guest pass to practice at a different studio with a teacher we both admired and respected. I felt like a brand new student all over again.
Checking in at the front desk like a new student, feeling a little shy and awkward trying to figure out where to place my coat and shoes and like a new kid on the bus, searching for the perfect spot in class to both see the teacher and simultaneously remain invisible. I fell in love with the practice all over again. No one knew who I was, no one was looking at me, and no one asked me for help because I was clearly new… all I had to do was practice.
My heart and body remembered why I loved yoga and passionately wanted to share this with the world.
When I first began practicing yoga as a new student I remember trying a free class, Hot Slow Flow Level 2, in the summertime in Wilmington, North Carolina in July 2011. Not the most intelligent idea as I played slip and slide on my mat for an hour with a bewildered and pained expression on my face. We’ve all been there.
I never imagined during my first strenuous downward facing dog that I would ever want to do teach yoga for a living. Throughout the remainder of the year I stayed with the practice and though I came to yoga, like many other Westerners, to gain strength and flexibility I stayed for the mental clarity and therapeutic healing. Something transformed in me this year and throughout the next year when I left my town to work abroad. I knew yoga would always be a part of my life because it had deeply moved me and that I would one day return to do a teacher training.
- The desire to share this practice: It is tempting to try and take your family and friends to class or show them a new pranayama technique to relieve stress. When our practice allows us to feel healthier and holistic it is natural to want to impart this knowledge to others. However, it is not always appropriate to start just doing yoga poses all the time in hopes it will inspire people to practice. Therefore, an appropriate training is suitable to learn how to translate your passion into an effective result in a suitable setting.
- Wanting to delve deeper…personal and professional growth: Yoga instructors not only study the asana or physical practice of yoga, but also explore the eight limbs of yoga and the philosophical aspect of the practice. They strive to be in a constant state of growth and learning. Teaching yoga forces you to study and understand the lineage and philosophy of the practice.
- Connection to other people: Teaching yoga creates an environment of connection and opens the door to like-minded people or those attempting to learn this practice. Teachers feed off of the energy of our students. It is a unique experience to be a part of a student’s growth and admittedly selfishly gives teachers joy.
- Getting paid to make people feel good, challenge them, and wear stretchy pants is pretty awesome too. At the end of the day I am paid to do what I love, to inspire people and to walk around barefoot in comfy pants.
Whenever I begin to stress or wonder why I do what I do I remember how lucky and blessed I am. I often think, “Who wouldn’t want to be a yoga instructor.” The hours can be long, the pay is not fantastic, customer service can be a drag, but at the end of the day I live my passion, I inspire others, I connect deeply with myself and my students every day. Yoga Instructors are pretty damn lucky!
About Wilmington Yoga
Established in 2000, Wilmington Yoga has offered classes, workshops, teacher trainings and retreats for its community of students. It honors and teaches a wide array of styles based upon students’ individual needs whether it’s weight loss, reducing back pain, decreasing anxiety, or simply being a part of a fun growing community. Classes are for students of all ages and all levels.