Beginning Again

Have I told you that I started taking guitar lessons a few months ago? I get a little chuckle every week when I show up to my lesson and I’m sitting in the waiting room with all the other moms… who are waiting with their children. I seem to be the only adult taking beginner lessons, at least on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m., and really, I think that’s kind of cool. I got the idea to take guitar lessons when I was wrapping up my #handstand365 challenge earlier this year. Learning something so seemingly frivolous as standing on my hands (at the age of 39!) allowed me a beautiful opportunity to learn a lot about myself because there were absolutely no expectations. Every day I just showed up to my mat (or wherever) and tried.

And so when #handstand365 was done, I yearned to be a beginner at something, again. I debated whether to begin guitar or skateboard lessons. Guitar won, so maybe I'll learn to skateboard next year.

In today's newsletter I want to tell you about some other new beginners who have recently touched my heart.

Right now we’re in the middle of our January 2015 Teacher Training Program. After sitting through over a hundred hours of lecture and practicum in the classroom setting, our Teacher Trainees are required to Observe and Assist one of the lead faculty members in their classes, and they’re also required to teach a free Community Class under the supervision of a lead faculty member.

Jan teaching

That means that over the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to work one-on-one with the Trainees as they Observe and Assist my classes and as I observe and support their teaching in the Community Classes.

And I must say, I am so honored and humbled to be working with this outstanding group of Teacher Trainees. They are a brave and intelligent group of women. They hail from different countries. They have or have had diverse and successful careers. They are raising or have raised families. They’ve had vast life experiences. And now they’ve chosen to become beginners again.

They’re learning to become yoga teachers not because they want to learn how to put their feet behind their heads, but because through their personal yoga practices they each have experienced a unique and profound set of benefits, and they want to know how to share yoga, how to share the benefits of yoga. And not only do they want to share the benefits of yoga, they want to know how to share the benefits of yoga with anybody and everybody who is interested.

When this accomplished group of women graduates as yoga teachers, they’ll be sharing yoga with their parents and with their children, with their personal training clients, with their therapeutic massage clients, with their Oncology patients, in a CrossFit gym, with children in schools, with the elderly in senior centers, with their friends, and possibly even at The Yoga Room, if they’re interested.

And every single one of them will be sharing the deeper knowledge of yoga they gained in teacher training with themselves, to continue to deepen their own personal practice.

I’m thrilled every time one of the Teacher Trainees comes to observe one of my classes. I watch them to see what they’re seeing. I notice when they come across an interesting detail and jot an idea in their notebook. I pull them in to show them how to modify a posture or how to assist a someone in a pose.

And I love, love, love it when they have questions or share observations with me after the class. Their questions and observations allow me to see their unique perspective. It shows me that they’re not just memorizing the information we teach - they’re synthesizing it and making it their own, which is what will make them outstanding teachers.

I’m so honored that they’ve chosen to be beginners again, with us.

Have you ever wanted to be a beginner again? What's the last new thing you tried? What's the next thing you desire to learn? Want my vote? Go for it! Being a beginner rocks!

XO, Zelinda