Upon returning from the trip, I sent a text to one of my closest friends who was opening a yoga studio and who was also the connection point for me being on the yoga retreat in the first place. I asked her if I could be put on the schedule one day per week to teach. For some people this may not have been a big deal, but for me it most definitely was.
My feet are always firmly planted in my comfort zone. I only approach situations with thoughtful consideration of the pros and cons and a 90% certainty I will succeed. I do not engage in relationships or situations in which I may disappoint and/or not meet other’s expectations of me.
The moment I took a step out of my box I instantly saw myself failing. Students would exit my class, write Yelp reviews of the horrible experience they had in this brand new, beautiful studio, vowing never to return again. I would disappoint my dearest friend. Above all else, I would confirm I am not good enough and failure for me is inevitable.
Am I good enough? That’s what it all boils down to, isn’t it?
The moment I asked to teach yoga one day a week my stomach hurt. I thought of all the reasons why I should back out. My job was crazy. My family needed me. I did not have the quintessential yoga figure that inspires others to dig deep. The bottom line was, I did not want to fail.
But what is failure and success, especially when teaching or practicing yoga?
Here’s the beautiful thing I discovered over the past year, the definition of success for each person is different. As a yoga student it might be physical transformation or a place to become mindful and present. (Personally I practice yoga not to have a perfect ass, but to keep my head out of my ass.)
As a teacher, I realized my measurement of success was different than what I had anticipated when I began this venture. Do I love and look forward to teaching my Tuesday classes? Have a created a space for each person entering the room to honor why they need to be there? Have I allowed for a safe place for people of all genders, religions, race, age, shapes and sizes to feel accepted, valued and capable? I’m not sure if I have mastered success in all these areas, but I sure try…every week.
In addition, last night I realized I had achieved success in a completely unanticipated way. I was sitting in the dining room creating vision boards with three people I did not know a year prior. Three beautiful souls who I only met through teaching yoga one day a week in this incredible yoga community. We cut and pasted pictures and words from magazines onto poster board to manifest goals and dreams we have for ourselves. We ate, drank and shared stories you only share with your deepest friends.
This past year I have met the most wonderful people and been a part of a community of amazing people. I’ve been a part of barbeques, dinners and vision board planning with students and teachers whom I did not know a year ago. It has grounded me and given me a space to not only be unapologetic about who I am, it has helped me to love who I am. It’s helped me to understand I do not hold the key to disappoint. Some people may love me or leave my class vowing to never return, but my value is not dictated by someone else’s expectations. I have learned sometimes you need to unplant your feet from the earth, leave your comfort zone and take a leap. You never know what awaits you.
Love. Connection. Growth. Acceptance. Balance. Friendship. Community.