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To Teach or Not to Teach

I am 58 years old and love yoga. I used to practice at home and take classes twice a week, and I eventually enrolled in a teacher training course at a local college. But I never completed my student teaching, and I only taught small classes to my family and friends for awhile.

These days I take one class per week and do very little at home. I feel like I'm in a rut and can't get out. I want to teach, but I feel unqualified and don't have the confidence. There are certain postures I can't do because I am restricted in turning out my right hip. What can I do to get motivated again?
— Anonymous

Read Ana Forrest's response:

Dear Anonymous,

Get immersed in the practice again. Here's how: take another teacher training course or a retreat, and finish it this time. Meanwhile, create your own home yoga intensives. Write it out and have fun designing classes for your own needs and pleasures. In other words, create and do classes with poses that are fun, healing, and sweaty. This will energize and vitalize your practice. Make it a daily course. Start with a consistent time every single day, just as if you were in a class. Increase your time from, say, an hour each time at first, and work up to an hour and a half, and then to an hour and 45 minutes. Design the class and the time additions ahead of time. This will help you build skills as a teacher and give you a blueprint for building your discipline and focus.

You love yoga, but perhaps you put other things as your priority. Place what you love as your priority. Make a gradually increasing commitment of time to your yoga studies. Pledge a minimum of one month—one month during which you are willing to commit, no matter what, to a small amount of time that will be enough to kick-start you, get you out of this rut, and give you the confidence you need.

Meanwhile, be sure to eat nutritional foods, because part of what gets us in a rut is that we eat food that is devitalizing. Check in on the foods you are eating. Make sure it's feeding your cell tissue. When people are in a rut, they tend to eat comfort foods that don't actually give energy.

Most of all, make a commitment to evolve and grow, and seek people who'll help you keep this commitment. I encourage you to pursue this; you have a lot to offer for just having lived to age 58. You are just reaching the age to qualify as a Wisdom Keeper, and the quest to reignite your inspiration is part of what will help you become one. We all need the wisdom of someone who has been around.

Ana Forrest is recognized worldwide as a pioneer in yoga and emotional healing. Born crippled, her own life trauma and experiences compelled her to create Forrest YogaŽ. Her focus in Forrest Yoga is to guide the student in the sacred exploration of truth, healing and "the Great Mystery." She is a well-known contributing expert to Yoga Journal and other national wellness publications. She travels internationally teaching at yoga conferences, workshops, and teacher trainings.
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Reader Comments


I could have written this question myself. I was avidly looking for Ana's response to the part about the inability to do certain poses due to a hip restriction. I have the same thing on the left side due to birth defect. There was no comment on this and I would dearly love to hear if we have a chance at certification with physical restriction.


To teach or not to teach.

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