Updated: Oct 1
Awwwww, teaching, a noble profession I always thought. An honour & a privilege!
( And if you want my serious take on "teaching" you could read this interview here )
Already as a kid I saw the appeal of being a teacher... or of being a priest: standing in front of people and trying to make them think, feel or connect to something potentially new.
That seemed to me incredibly exciting. Maybe that just meant I really wanted to be an actor or on stage, but I always understood the parallels between those professions.
Sundays in church little Mark would think "yeah, full house, the audience is ready, and here he comes, entrance stage-right, in full costume, handling props, making the sermon just funny enough to keep people awake." I just always saw the "mechanics" of the "show".
By now I taught longer than I ever danced, and yet, while I romanticise my dancing years greatly, teaching on the other hand never felt like a serious "job", 'cause it's just story-telling with friends. At least to me.
Maybe that's why it was always so hard for me to acknowledge my place in that world.
"We need more great teachers
who are incredibly HUMBLE!
Because there are just so few of us left."
My favourite joke.
But seriously, when you are around long enough and had the opportunity to witness so many great teachers, it can become quite difficult to see oneself in the same world.
( I know, I know, if you compare yourself at all, you have to compare yourself in all directions!)
So I just trust. Trust in myself.
Trust without necessarily being able to articulate exactly what it is that I do "do".
I'm NOT a handstand instructor, chanting pop star wannabe, or beatific angel with all the insights. I don't know what I am, I just trust.
But somebody else ( who knew of my struggles to put these things into words ) tried to help me, by sending me this following text ... and it made me very grateful.
So excuse me for sharing this. MIND YOUR STEP: little ego boost coming up,
but I hope some of my possums recognise that feeling:
"You teach me joy, this "contentment on steroid" thingy you talk about. Not in a direct way, but by making me laugh about silly things...
You remind me of having a body. Not being a floating head on a spine stick figure.
And I like all this me-ness you show me I am.
You make me FEEL better. You make me feel BETTER.
Your laughter and jokes remind me that living is for fun.
You are my Yoga Bob Ross.
We make no mistakes but all happy little accidents.
You help me slow down: "Easy tiger!"
What's the most important word in yoga? To say 'NO'. I felt that. And took it out to so many more parts of my daily life. You helped me realizing I need more No's in my life, so there is more room for all the Yesses i feel inside.
Your technical yoga teacher awesomess gave me more confidence and courage. In class your hands on teaching made me learn new things, or better things to do with my body. You help me to investigate and explore my body and myself a little more too.
You create a safe playground. You are the spaceholder for exploring this decaying body of ours.
And also a very big big big thing: you pointed out that I should PLAY. You made me remember my inner kid, in my movements in my heart and in my.soul. You invited her with your kind words, your great skillset, your laughter, your Joy. I love being not so grown up every hour, to be silly, to be the magical flawed unicorn that's me. Thank you. It meant the world for me to regain that feeling.
Playground. For big kids. You made me want to dance...
Your classed made me more brave. More free. My body is more relaxed, but equally important: you helped me to relax my mind. And braveness followed.
Your old Yogawisdom is wonderful and you told me lovely things I did not know. It speaks to the head, i like thinking too. I like listening to the stories you tell. And it helps me to tell mine. It is a very nice feeling to know that what we do today in class has an ancient, almost eternal logic to it.
I loved how honest and authentic you are. I believe you. You line up. I love how you allow the world and your students to see, feel, hear you. Experience you. Also via Instagram. You are real. You are you. You are on your way and invite us to travel along on this happy heavy cool thing called life. You are not this zenmasterPerfect yoga teacher who is on this whole other ZenfuckingPlanet.
You help me to embrace change. Small change, like not being able to lay in my favorite spot in the studio. Like inside, so outside: you make my body more flexible, you make my mind be .ore flexible.
You are a fun-force, as one of my friends wouLd say. Funny, flawed, freeminded, rainbow drama-queen.
Your Drama-queen'ness encouraged me to Express myself more. Exaggerate for the fun of it. For the weight of it, slowly losing its grip because of the laughter around it.
You made me dream a bit more. The joy you share in practice gave a nice push to go stargazing again, to explore. Yoga for explorers, that's what you teach.
Thanks for seeing me. Not only with yoga technical eyes, but as a human woman. From the heart and happiness.
Thank you for inspiring me, helping me heal and reconnect to my own pathways and joy."