I've been practicing yoga for somewhere between 5 and 8 years now, but the question mark next to HOW long is there because at what point did I start calling my practice Yoga?
I've always done "stretches" to help with ailments from a sedentary life at school and then an over active life in hospitality, standing for extremely long periods of time. I was a Barista for over 10 years after school and this did take a tole on my body. Then children happened and at the beginning of of my first pregnancy 5 years ago I started doing 'YOGA' with a teacher, in person with adjustments and help. Now some may feel like it is only legit when you are doing it in a class, with a teacher right there observing and guiding, but I'm starting to believe that there are no right or wrong ways for someones personal practice.
I'm now training to be a teacher through an online course because I live in a regional area, over an hour away from the closest Yoga studio. I also have two children, run a small business from home and care for a property with family where we grow our own food and live off grid. My values lie deeply in minimizing my families footprint on this earth, I am on my own spiritual journey and yoga is a BIG part of that.
As I build up my confidence through the completion of my course - the 200 hr yoga teacher training - I am constantly questioning my legitimacy. I sat with my mentor yesterday, someone who learnt to teach yoga back when it was a diploma and required 5 years experience before qualifying and I asked her this. The conclusion I am reaching as I search inwardly for the answers is: Relative to what.
Confidence and the feeling of legitimacy comes from being honest with yourself. It's not about being the most flexible or the strongest in the room, but recognizing your own journey and where you stand in your own practice and being transparent about that.
What I have to offer as a teacher is not about being the best, but about grounding ourselves, turning inward for guidance and connecting with earth in order to expand. THIS I do feel qualified to teach because I will be coming from a place of my own experiences and my own practice and I do not intend to be anything other than who I am. I hope those who join me in my practice at Earth Side Yoga will also bring to the table their own experiences and we can grow together.