I began my yoga practice through 100% physical asana. Through physical practice, I could feel the strength using the only tools I was born with, my mind and body. I enrolled in a membership at a local yoga studio, Yogaworks.
It was at Yogaworks where I met Jessica Seabern. Jessica leads rigorous mid-day power vinyasa classes that I fell enamored with. In the days leading up to the Summer solstice, Jessica introduced me to the concept of Yamas into our practice. I had practiced various methods of fitness. Although they generated enthusiasm for me, there was still something missing.
My default mindset would have taken Jessica’s information on Yamas and logged it in my memory bank of random knowledge, however, the words she painted in my mind evoked a desire to delve deeper into the philosophy of yoga – to take it beyond asana. It was on that day in that little room that I decided to devote my life to yoga.
What is a Statement of Philosophy?
A Statement of Philosophy is a contract that yoga teachers write up that explains their reason for wanting to teach yoga. Almost all professions have some form of reason for teaching or committing to a particular career path.
Yoga has been a vessel of possibility for me spiritually and physically. I know I wanted to share my practice as a teacher and leader. After completing my RYT 200 at Be Luminous Yoga Teacher Training program, I made the following commitments as a teacher:
- Guide others into the greatness (that they already possess);
- Allow student’s natural curiosity to direct his or her learning;
- Promote respect for all things and people.
I want to exude the passion and energy that Jessica harnesses so eloquently. It is no doubt that sharing her wisdom and knowledge of yoga was what she was meant to do in life. I want to express myself in the most authentic way possible. I want to lead my students towards their own authentic selves through the practice of yoga and sharing of myself.
In guiding students to the greatness they already possess, I will give them the tools to enable them to physical or philosophical growth they need to feel and understand yoga. In guiding others, I am constantly reminded that every path is different. I am constantly reminded that sometimes I may never get to where I want to be in life, but I am where I need to be that is OK. My yoga journey has been all about the process. The only constant in my life is the process of learning and becoming wiser.
One major “give up” that I have and will continue to is to give up judgments. Being a former foster youth and growing up in an abusive household, it’s easy to hold onto grudges and blame others when things don’t go as planned or are out of MY control. In my teens, I learned that holding on has caused a variety of unnecessary suffering in my life.
When I gave up this behavior, my natural curiosity presented itself and everything was possible! Through curious learning, I have experienced life without reservations. I no longer was exuding my strength and talents to CONTROL something I could not. I want to remind my students that exploration should be key to living. Exploration and curiosity should lead and carve your path in life.
Lastly, yoga has been such an amazing inner journey. I will be for my students by being aware of their individual needs. Yoga has taught me self-respect and to respect everyone around me. I want to encourage my students to respect all things in life, and especially their own selves. When there is no respect for self, you cannot share your value with others.
Thanks for reading my Statement of Philosophy!
If you’re a yoga instructor, let me know what your purpose for teaching and practicing is in the comments below.