On Saturday I had the privilege of taking a 3 hour yoga workshop with 94 year old Tao Porchon-Lynch. Amazing yogi & inspiring woman, to say the least. One of the things she says is, “There is nothing you cannot do.” She encourages us to follow our heart and not let fear stop us from living our life. Her words got me thinking about a letter I wrote to my fellow yogi’s in 2011 after I received my yoga teacher certification. The title, “Let No One Stop You” is a reminder for me each and every day to follow my vision.
Below is a copy of the letter, from 2011
Dear Fellow Yogis’s,
Every now and then I must share something with you I experienced as a way to inspire you and also give my thanks to you. I will try my best to be as succinct as possible but the details are worth it.
Recently I decided to go for an interview to substitute teach Yoga at “a very high end gym”. I am currently a member of this “high end gym”. I have taken their Yoga classes. They range from Gentle Kripalu Yoga to Hot Vinyasa Yoga with an instructor who, while holding us in plank, says things like, “If you can’t bear it, don’t wear it”. And YES, I do love this tough talk too.
So, I went for the interview and the 1st thing the manager says to me is “how long have you been teaching?”. Uh-oh..well, less than 2 months! She then said to me, “We only hire Yoga teachers with at least 2 years experience, even subs”. I literally felt myself sinking in the chair….as these thoughts ran thru my head: “Why didn’t they tell me this before I came in?? What was I thinking? Of course they want to hire experienced people. They are high end and the people here will tear your head off if they don’t like you.” After noticing these negative thoughts, I decided I have nothing to lose. So, I began to sell myself anyway. I mentioned things like, “I am a member here. I understand what people”expect”. I also pointed out that because I was trained at Kripalu, I have a much more in depth knowledge base, etc etc.”. After about 15 minutes of me showing the manager “who I am”, she said, “OK, let’s see what you got. You have 30 minutes to do a demo for me.” So……..I practiced Breathe Relax Feel Watch Allow and did a 30 minute class that apparently knocked her socks off. She was impressed (I almost cried) and she decided to add me to the sub list!
I was excited!! And then the thoughts started– OMG- what if I am asked to really sub? These people expect ALOT..
Again, I came back to my breath and decided to be happy with my victory instead fearful about the future. And then guess what happened?
Literally the next day the manager emails me directly and asks if I can sub a Monday 6am, VINYASA class.
Me??? 6am VINYASA. HECK NO was what my fear said. That is THE last type of class I would ever imagine starting to teach as a newbie. As I have noticed in my life, I tend to dive head first….so I figured I the only answer was YES. I said YES.
And today was the day I taught the class. I was nervous— really nervous– but I was centered.
Do you know what I did to prep? I practiced the flow a few times, rehearsed it in my head, did alot of meditation. And I also watched a yoga video led by one of the Master Yogi’s. All of this reminded me that I have a gift to share. It reminded me of WHY I share yoga. And most of all, it reminded me that I do know alot. Watch out world
When I showed up at “high end gym” for my 6am Vinyasa class, I looked my fear in the face and I DID IT ANYWAY.
The moral of the story is to LET NO ONE STOP YOU. I didn’t let the manager stop me from advocating for what I wanted,which is to teach Yoga where I want. And I didn’t let my fear paralyze me when I taught my first class.
I hope this story inspires you to go AFTER WHAT YOU WANT. ADVOCATE. LET NO ONE STOP YOU, including yourself. EVER.