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Dear New Yoga Teacher: Words of “Wisdom” from a Year Later

I’m sure every yoga teacher remembers the moment they received their certificate. The day that they officially became capable of leading a yoga class. Whether they felt ready is another thing entirely.

After more than a year into my teaching career, I am far from being an expert. Each moment I am learning who I am and who I want to become. But I have learned so much in this first year that it is possibly where the most growth occurs, at least in the shortest amount of time.

So whether you are not yet on the path of teaching yoga or have just graduated, here are some of the lessons I have learned in my first year of teaching yoga that may offer some assurance.

Breathe. Do the very thing that you teach others to do, and do it every moment with intention. You will go through tough times both in your teaching journey and in your personal practice and it will all come down to breathing and accepting.

You will feel unprepared and that is okay. In some ways you are and in others you are not. You will gain so much knowledge in the coming year, and you will transform as both a teacher and a human. You may be thrust into experiences you believe you are not ready for, but know that they are not experiences you cannot handle. They will help you grow and learn and you will be a better person for them.

When things get difficult, know it is temporary. When you feel anxious and nervous, know that it will subside. Rather than shoving those emotions aside, learn to look for the source of them and enter a beautiful time of self-study.

Begin to find yourself. You may find love in places you never expected and learn to allow yourself to receive love. You may get lost along the way, but really discover yourself and learn what makes you tick, even if you thought you knew. You will probably discover that you are stronger than you thought possible.

Know that you are loved and impactful. You will find your place of belonging and know that you have support all around you. Incorporate "so what?" into your daily mantra when things don't go as planned and learn to be okay with not having a plan. It may take a while, but don't lose heart. If you ever feel surrounded by darkness, know that the sun always comes up each morning.

Be humbled but what you have learned, yet how little you still know. We never stop learning and you will probably go through phases in your learning, learning from various teachers that will each offer you something new. Allow each of them to guide you and offer you support and opportunities.

When you don't feel ready, know that you are. You will learn to see the body as a metaphor and will grow your communication skills during this time as you become exposed to a plethora of sources.

Most importantly, you'll realize that you are enough. Your definition of it is the only one that matters. So on the day when you are holding your certificate in your hands, you are officially a yoga teacher. Hold on to that moment.

Now that you know all of this, join us for our Spring Yoga Teacher Training!

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