When I was younger, I dreamed of opening my own preschool. As I got older, however, those dreams began to change and I realized that I do not really need to open my own preschool to make a difference. Lucky for me, I met this wonderful teacher, Alice Gutierrez, who took me into her school and allowed me to leave my mark in my own little way. In the many years I taught there, I went from being just a teacher to being partners with the Directress who took over when Teacher Alice passed away.
My preschool teaching days, however, ended two years ago when I felt I was no longer suited to be a preschool teacher. I was getting old, I had said, plus the physical toll of being overweight had taken it’s toll on me. I thought I would just move on to the academe, which was the natural progression of things especially since I was already teaching in the college level.
On the side, I practiced yoga. Little did I know that being on the mat would change my life completely
In a few days, I begin my Kids Yoga training with Rainbow Kids at Urban Ashram Manila and by the end of the month, I’ll be on my way to becoming a certified yoga teacher with my 300 hour Vinyasa Yoga training at the Yoga Alliance registered school, Beyond Yoga.
My dreams have changed a lot….but despite all those changes, I think one thing remains: it’s the desire to leave a mark and make a difference. Now as a yoga teacher (to be), I would like to share with others not just the physical practice of yoga, but the value of accepting one’s self fully, wholly, and unconditionally. I’d like to give back to the mat as it has given so much to me.
In this new path I am taking, I can see how all the different roles I have played in the past come together and merge so perfectly. The teacher in me dreams of sharing with people around me practical ways of incorporating a yogic lifestyle into day to day, without being overbearing or going overboard. This includes changing habits of day to day, and incorporating healthier choices into the different aspects of life, such as in eating, the workplace and stress management. The psychologist in me aims to use movement as a form of therapy to help people work though their issues and gain insight in order to become better versions of themselves. The preschool teacher in me hopes to help people develop their self-esteem and to embrace the inner child in them. The friend in me longs to gather up people around rustic dining tables in places like Bag of Beans in Tagaytay and similar places, just talk and share and grow together. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
But while that is my yoga dream, there is (and always has been) a little nightmare creeping in the corner…
That thing called my weight.
One of my biggest insecurities about being my journey towards being a yoga teacher (even though I know I shouldn’t let it bother me!) is my weight. After all, it’s kinda hard to squeeze and maneuver into poses when your belly is too big or your thighs get in the way, right? In fact, that was one reason why it took me forever to discover yoga in the first place. I always thought I was too fat. The mere thought of walking into a yoga studio terrified me back then because I was so self-conscious about my body. I wouldn’t say I was unhappy, but I really just was not comfortable being the, pardon the pun, elephant in the room.
Add to my insecurities about becoming a yoga teacher is the pressure I feel that comes from the notion that yoga teachers should be lean and toned. And so yeah, I’m afraid that my student’s may look at me and thing, she’s a yoga teacher???
Today, however, I woke up to a message on my Facebook account about this site called Curvy Yoga. I clicked it, and OMG….my viewpoint changed. And with half an hour of browsing through the site, all my fears and insecurities went away. I like how the teacher, Anna Guest -Jelley emphasizes positive yoga and that we must “grab life by the curves”. She has made it her mission to create a space for anyone who wants to practice (or teach) yoga no matter what size or shape they come in. Maybe someday after I complete my training (and um, recoup expenses haha) I can go deeper into exploring this. I’m sure if it is meant to be, the Universe will conspire into making it happen!
But as for today, all the fears I had about my teacher training has suddenly gone away. Sure, I can still expect some poses to challenge me and that my weight can still pose some, um, structural limitations for asanas, but I know for sure I have a place in this Yogaverse.
I cannot wait to be a yoga teacher.