The Accidental “aha” of Teaching Yoga

It’s difficult to pin-down an “aha!” moment in my fitness journey because for as long as I can remember, sports have been a huge part of my upbringing. Growing up with two brothers in sunny California, there was always a reason to get outside and join a pickup basketball game, head over to the baseball fields to play catch, or take the dogs for a jog in the hills. I always considered my fitness routine to be a part of play-time rather than a chore. It brought my family together and encouraged me to develop lifelong friendships with our neighbors and community.

Nowadays, it’s more difficult to coordinate play-time. As a full-time student with a part-time job, living away from home, the circles of community in my life have increasingly little overlap. It has become difficult to coordinate enough people to play volleyball once a week, or set up a game of softball. Newsflash: organized sports take organizing. I began looking for new activities that could satisfy my need to sweat, to be pushed to my limits, and to build community in doing so- and eventually I found yoga.

Yoga has been a regular part of my life for the past six years, but only recently did it become the centerpiece of my life. The “aha!” moment with yoga came at just the right time (as these moments tend to). When a teacher cancelled class last minute, the opportunity arose for a substitute to fill in. Though I had never lead a class before, I knew the poses and the sequences and muscled up the courage to volunteer. I put on my best yoga voice (smooth and velvety) and began to guide my fellow yogis through their practice.

Not coincidentally, this moment came at a point in my life where I have discovered a new enthusiasm for teaching. On a journalism assignment in India about a year ago, I found myself volunteering at a small village school teaching English to children. Beyond realizing how little I actually know about formal grammar, I realized that teaching can be a powerful way to cultivate meaningful relationships and curate stories: a lesson I have since carried forward into my journey as a journalist, teacher, and yogi. I feel blessed to have lessons like these as a guide, and to realize the common threads between my many interests! As I prepare for my yoga teacher-training, I reflect on the “aha!” moments that pushed me to get to where I am today!
Thank you to Fit Approach for all the kindness and support, and for being a part of my fitness journey!

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