I’m done (or am I…)

by Annie Carlin

Everyone – it’s official!! I am finally an RYT-200 (registered yoga teacher at the 200 hour level). It seems a little anti-climactic, considering that I’ve been teaching regularly for months, but I’m still excited. Mostly, I’m thrilled that I no longer have to answer the question, “Are you certified?” with hemming and hawing.

Now I can just say, “Heck yeah, I am!”

I just spoke to my dad who, laughing, told me that I seem way more excited for this than I was for my bachelor’s or master’s degree. I know I am definitely more excited than I was for my bachelor’s degree (but that’s another story). All told, the certification only took me about a year, and was a lot cheaper than my academic degrees, but it feels like a bigger deal. I wonder if it’s because it was not something I always thought was possible, or that my success would be a given. Yet my perceived challenges ended up helping me, inspiring my own path, and leading to surprising (at least to me) early success as a teacher.

Right now, I’m working on “being where I am” — being content with the state of things as they are, and not pushing myself to do or be anything other than the present moment. It’s hard though, because I’m starting to realize that, as yoga teachers, we are never really “done”.

Between learning to be a better teacher every time I teach and contemplating 500 hour trainings, I certainly don’t feel done, certified or not. From a practical standpoint though, I know I owe it to myself to be “done” – and I certainly owe it to my wallet – for a while.

I remember a discussion from teacher training over the summer about finding enlightenment, and how I wondered whether I would shy away from that kind of achievement simply because I was afraid to be done.

Our culture is one of “doing”, of “pushing”, we don’t really think about what would happen if we were to actually achieve all those goals. If I did ever reach enlightenment, would I be satisfied? Or would the prospect of letting things be and simply sitting in samadhi, enlightenment or whatever you want to call it be scary, or even…dare I say it…boring?

It happens that I am hitting a bit of wall in terms of new teaching gigs. I’ve contacted most, if not all, of the studios around here that I think may be interested. Yet, I’m driven to do more and find myself checking google to see if there is a studio or opportunity I’ve missed.

At the same time, however, I am trying to remain mindful that my energy is limited and that I have students who count on me to share that energy when I am teaching. I need to work with “being done” and not push myself beyond where I am. But, I also need to be open to opportunities that present themselves. In the meantime, I will continue to explore my home practice (which is sadly lacking) and to do my best by my current students, who inspire and humble me every time I get on the mat with them.

NEWBIE chronicles the journey of a new yoga teacher.  From teacher training to building a business, follow Annie Carlin as she details the highs and lows of finding her place amidst one of the worlds oldest practices.


About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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