Practice With Me

Body Mind Meditation is held every Thursday at 7:15 pm ET at Boundless Yoga Studio in Stroudsburg.

I can also be found at the following studios: Red Lotus & Healing, Bangor | Underground Yoga Studio, Delaware Water Gap | Yoga House, Stroudsburg

"Just Where You Are -- That's the Place to Start."

When it was time to promote my donation-based classes for my 200-hour teacher training, I used the image above. It's not an image of me, and while peaceful, it's not particularly eye-catching. However, I was teaching a beginner series and not in the studio where I regularly practice. I wasn't sure who -- if anyone -- would show up. So I wanted to convey the message that you didn't have to be an advanced yogi who could wrap a leg around your neck to attend my class. Wherever you are in your practice -- rocking a handstand or just learning what downward facing dog is -- is exactly where you start. And that's okay. It was also a message for me. Wherever I am in my own practice, wherever I am in guiding students through a class, that is okay and exactly where I should start as well.

Teaching those four classes was rewarding and amazing experience! I learned so much about who I am as a teacher, about my practice, and even gained some insight as to what the experience is like for my own teachers. I was so nervous that first class! And while I definitely experienced some nerves with each subsequent class, I felt more and more confident in front of the room, and with my voice as a teacher.

I am now a graduate of the 200-hour teacher training program from Boundless Yoga Studio. But once I had finished teaching my classes and as test day grew near, I became nervous for a different reason. I began to wonder if there was a place in the yoga community for me as a teacher, and if not, what would the past 9 months have all been for? I find the yoga community can be a tricky one to navigate. It can be welcoming, yet exclusive. It can feel large, yet be a small part of your area's population. It can feel friendly with so many familiar faces, and crowded like there is no room for you outside of "student." Who would I be upon graduation?

I've since realized that it doesn't matter. It doesn't need a label. If your intention is pure, there will always be a place for you, and students will feel a connection and want to learn from and practice with you. There is always room for one more.

At the very end of my last class, I read a poem. Now, while I enjoy these types of readings in the classes I take, it doesn't feel natural for me as a teacher. I am not really a fan of poetry, and most of the novels I read don't really lend themselves to passages for reading at the end of a yoga class. And yet, I read this poem. I thought it had a wonderful message -- a message for students, particularly those just starting their practice and a message for the new teacher, me.

Maybe Not

Begin somewhere.

Take one deep breath
and dive.

Plunge into the core
of your most
persistent fear,
or your greatest joy.

Grown comfortable
with the act of
exploration.

Well, maybe not
comfortable,
but confident of
your ability to be
sure footed
on slick rocks,
steady while the
winds gust.

Well, maybe not
entirely confident,
but willing to set out
despite persistent
doubts, breathing
your way into
whatever you are facing.

Well, maybe not even
all that willing,
but you take it
anyway, that first step
into the unknown.

Courage is starting
where there is
no secure outcome,
no sure result.

The secret is you can
begin again at any time.

Take one deep breath,
and dive.

From Root to Bloom: Yoga Poems and Other Writings by Danna Faulds