As an adult I have had a hard time finding mentors. I think it was easier as a kid when I looked up to most adults and had the mindset that grown ups knew more than me and I had something to learn from them. As I got older, it became harder and harder to find people who inspired me to be a better version of myself.
Mary Beth LaRue (MB) is one of my favorite teachers. I found her class on one of my Venice Beach trips where she was teaching at The Yoga Collective. I joined her mailing list, took her classes when I was in Venice and attended one of her workshops. I have followed her work with Jacki Carr and their Rock Your Bliss movement.
MB saw the need in yoga teachers to address the concept of mentorship. You finish your yoga teacher training and then what’s next? Often times as teachers, we get so busy teaching classes and accepting any opportunity to teach that comes our way, that we begin to let our own personal practice slip and experience burn out, plus a loss of inspiration. We may not even regularly talk to other yoga teachers except to say hi or bye to the teacher who just taught the class before us or is up after us.
MB has started a yoga teaching mentorship program. I completed the first round last year and found so much support and clarity in my path to teaching. I feel it has helped me be much more in tune with how I want to teach and what I want to offer. I signed up to complete the mentorship program again to gain even more insight and structure as to how I approach and design my classes and workshops.
One of the first coaching activities we completed is to establish our WHY for teaching. What compelled us to enroll in a teacher training and why do we want to teach?
I took time searching, editing and finally establishing my WHY. I am glad I put time and thought behind it and shared it with the rest of the mentorship group. Having a firmly established WHY has helped me feel more confident about the classes I teach and designing them based on what is true for me and what I want my students walk aways with. It has helped me be very intentional about the workshops I offer and the content within them. My WHY is currently helping me discover what and where I want to teach and how often, it is helping me figure out what I should yes and no to and what opportunities I should be creating for myself.
So, WHY do I teach?
I teach because I have been called upon to foster healing in a traumatic world. I have been called upon to articulate and share my own journey of trauma and healing in order to empower others through their own journey. Teaching keeps me accountable to continually work on my own healing and share the results of that work with integrity to others.
I feel much more grounded in what I teach and why. I feel that my WHY is a good anchor to return back to when an opportunity presents itself to me and I am not sure whether or not to except it. My WHY has been a good check point for me to evaluate if an offering I am wanting to create is for the right reasons or if it is based around an ego concern. I truly hope my students benefit from me teaching from a place of a clear and established WHY, as opposed to teaching from a place lacking in authenticity or expectation.