the art of teaching, the gift of witness

And then I return to why. Why teach. Why yoga. Why this practice. Why anything. Sometimes it can be challenging to put your heART out there; to be open and vulnerable, and understand that it is not for everyone. Feelings harden into cold ways, tears, or saying things you don’t mean. Putting yourself out there means you’ll be seen and felt, the highs and the lows.
Teaching, to me, is art. It’s systematic, yet organic. It’s fluid and not. It’s everything and more than I could have imagined. The constant is the breath, it’s the only requirement. Somewhere in the practice of being a student, I discovered myself. A conversation of when took place. A teacher seeing me at a time I wasn’t sure I was ready to see myself. A combination of tiny events that had me asking, “what if” eventually turned into, “what now.” My “what now” is today, a student first, a fierce commitment to learning and giving it away. My “what now” understands that teaching can be hard, business is not always easy, sometimes inspiration falls flat, sequencing feels stuck, and much like hardships, there are countless highs. There’s joy, laughter, being present in the moment, sweaty hugs, Thai massage assists, and spreading love out loud. It is an endless fire that fuels so bright with passion and heat. I feel like a mama-bear in motherhood as much as I do about practice and teaching. 
Teaching others a little about themselves feels like the second greatest joy in the world, next to being a mom. To be a witness to students’ growth, commitment, love and challenging themselves to allow the insides bubble up and is one of the most beautifully-intimate things I get to support and hold space. It takes my breath away to stand in front of a room feeling and seeing you. There’s an intimacy with our presence. There’s authenticity with our breath. To be a witness, guide, cheerleader, yes-sayer, space holder, lover, and supporter of you does not do it justice to call this a job. It’s a gift like no other to be a witness.

stephynow