10 Years a Yoga Teacher
In my 10 years teaching yoga, what have I learned?
Read my 20 thoughts on yoga, the yoga industry, what people think yoga is versus what yoga actually is, how my teaching has developed over 10 years, how it has helped me and how it can help you....
On April 17th 2013, my friend Helen & I set out a small room in the local village hall for our first ever Yoga Class. We were training together at the Dru Yoga Centre in Bethesda, Snowdonia and as we put out the mats for the 6 people attending, we were so nervous / excited, but at least we had each other for moral support! We had our Lesson Plan at the ready and all of our training tom back us up! We took a collective deep breath and welcomed in our students. Our first class didn't quite go according to plan, but as with everything new, the most important thing is that first step and as we closed the class and everyone left smiling and happy, it felt like an life-changing moment for both of us. 10 YEARS AGO!!
Here is what discovered on my path of teaching yoga for 10 years....
- There is a lot of misinformation about yoga online, which means that many people who would benefit from the various practices... will never ever walk into a yoga class. (Type YOGA into the search bar on Instagram and you will see what I mean.)
- Stress and anxiety are on the increase – especially since the pandemic.
- Health professionals are advising patients to try yoga – more and more.
- People come to yoga, firstly for physical benefits, but are also looking for peace of mind, time to stop and just be.
- There are a lot of yoga teachers out there, not all of them will teach a style of yoga that suits everybody. And that’s OK.
- I have become braver over the years, to drop people into their hearts and into silence and leaving them there for a little while. (This is where the magic happens!)
- Social media has exploded since I started teaching yoga and I too find it hard to get the balance right between doing what I love and feeling that I have to constantly talk about what I love.
- Yoga doesn’t work by watching it on the internet or reading about it. It only works if you do it!
- If I’m feeling lethargic, flat, down or tired, five things help. 1. Pull on my boots and get outdoors. 2. Roll out my mat and do 30 minutes of yoga. 3. Rest deeply. 4. Being with a group of like-minded people. 5. Coffee and cake with a friend. All of these things help me to re-balance, restore and feel grateful!
- I have learned to teach the yoga that works for me, and not what I think the people in front of me are expecting.
- There is something in yoga for everyone; it is a many-layered practice. Even someone in a wheelchair can benefit from small movements, breathing exercises and hand mudras.
- In the pandemic, many people started doing yoga at home on YouTube, but many of those people are coming back to class now as they realise that it’s not the same as practising in a group. And it’s not the same as being guided by a person who is tapping into what that group needs, and leading from their heart.
- The only way that yoga works is if you do it regularly – it doesn’t work if you pop in when you feel like a stretch or when you’re on holiday, even though that’s a good place to start.
- It’s not easy to keep any new habit going, like starting yoga. The best way is to find a teacher and style you like by trying a few local classes, and then booking ahead every week. Book, pay and turn up. Again and again.
- Starting yoga with a friend helps – you can share travel, keep each other accountable, and nudge your friend if they snore in the relaxation!
- New neural pathways develop when you learn any new skill, and yoga is no different. As the weeks go by, you will find that you feel and think differently as your mind-body-breath connection grows.
- Yoga doesn’t happen just on the mat. You start to notice the constant Push and Pull of life, and then you notice that it helps if you can take a deep breath, stay in your centre and not get pushed and pulled so much.
- There are a million books on yoga, breathwork, philosophy, meditation, but the best learning happens when trust that your own experience is your truth. Others can pint you in the right direction, but nobody can tell you what is true for you.
- The world is a crazy place in 2023. The craziest year of my life so far (not in my personal life - hell, no! But in the world outside!) It is hard to stay positive in the light of so much bad news and so much despair at our world leaders’ lack of foresight, vision and action. The only thing I have worked out to do is to stay in my centre by meditating every morning, getting out into nature every day, reading inspirational books and leading my classes, workshops and retreats with gentleness and compassion.
- I hope to help, inspire and show people that they have the power within themselves to ‘be the change they wish to see in the world’ and to know that their light shines outward and touches so many, many people.
- Thanks for reading. I hope to see you on a mat very soon. Namaste xx
Kate exudes kindness and warmth. Her wealth of experience enables her to pass on her skills and knowledge in clear, precise ways which allowed me to deepen my yoga practice and I feel truly relaxed and at peace.Carol Gadd
Kate is a true yogi. All that she shares comes with integrity as she is her authentic self, looking to guide you to find yours.Peter Jones