The business of yoga is interesting, to say the least. I’m just going to start this post by being super up front about something – it is really strange to brand yourself as a yoga teacher. For a long time I felt conflicted and fought against the idea of promoting myself as anything special or different than any other teacher. But students kept telling me that I was different. That I was able to teach them things in a way that made it easy to understand.
This makes me think, “well…I guess I’m a little different, but I’m still teaching all the same information that everyone else is teaching so really, I’m the same.”
Students respond with, “I’ve taken classes from other teachers and they don’t teach the ‘same info’ the way you do.”
So I think a little harder and a little longer and decide – after about 9 years – I guess I am different. Maybe I should just embrace my “different” teaching style!
Honestly, choosing to brand myself is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Not because I’m a better teacher than anyone else, but because my method of teaching is special and different than anyone else I’ve ever met. It’s taken me about a decade to develop a style that is true to my practice – Shambhava Yoga – but also balances out my heavy studies in anatomy and (kind of) quirky personality.
I am deeply rooted in the teachings that I’ve gained from my incredible instructors at Shoshoni; this will never change. In fact, I go back to school at least once a year to update my training and gain a better understanding of this meaningful work. This tradition will always be my personal practice, but I also study on my own A LOT. When I say a lot, I mean it. Whether it be in person, online or on my own – I am learning how to be a better teacher on a weekly basis.
Often I will get out my stack of anatomy books and focus on an area of the body and build all of my classes around that feature for a few weeks so that I can be efficient, precise and easy to understand when discussing alignment. Currently I am taking an course online to learn about the differences in bone structure in humans and how we can use our own bodies to best measure our stances. I’m considering going back to school to get more in person focus around body education. I want to build my own training and am on my way to this becoming a reality.
My focus of anatomy is obviously for the betterment of health and longevity of the body but, more specifically, is leading up to building a foundation for meditation. Which brings us full circle, back to my roots in Shambhava Yoga. Every part of asana, in my practice and teaching, is to build a seat for meditation and higher levels of Self understanding. I’ve found the best way to peak interest in these higher practices is to first build discipline through physical work, which is what I primarily focus on in my classes.
I’m also kind of weird and I make a lot of corny jokes while teaching. Even though I am very serious about my work, I like to have fun with it! Getting to know my students through humorous interaction is one of my favorite things on the planet. I’ve been told that when people see my website or find out about me online that I can be very intimidating, but then they come to my classes and see what a dork I am and all of the initial intimidation is suddenly lifted.
All of this is to say, that yes I am branding myself. And hell yes, I have my own method of teaching! It’s amazing! Just like my own practice, I plan on staying rooted in the philosophy of what I’ve created but continue to update information for my students as much as can be obtained so that I can be the best teacher I possibly can be. If you want to know more about the specifics, check out the ABOUT ME section of the site.
Thanks for reading, thanks for your support and I look forward to practicing the Sthira Sukam Method with you soon! XO!