the heart is full and now it’s spilling

I’m watching the sun come up, on this first day of autumn, at the yoga studio where I started working just a few short weeks ago, silently thanking all the morning people whose early-bird practice gets me out of bed while it’s still dark– while the stars and planets of our galaxy trace their trails across the sky to light the way for the sleeping sun. before this job, I hadn’t willingly participated in a sunrise since yoga teacher training.

I also hadn’t necessarily considered teaching in a studio.

now, I’ve loved teaching yoga since sharing my first twenty-minute hip-opening (or, muladhara chakra) series with my fellow trainees early last summer. but when we graduated from our (amazing, heart-opening, deeply healing) 200-hour hatha yoga training– during a(n amazing, heart-opening, deeply healing) weekend retreat in the mountains of idyllwild, ca– I couldn’t see how the idea of visiting studios, promoting myself, and possibly auditioning for a space on a substitute list fit on the path that I found myself traveling. instead, it felt right to teach small, sometimes even private, classes on the sunny grass in local parks, breathing with the trees and drawing inspiration from the sounds of the world around us.

it felt right to introduce my partner to the practice– and it feels right every time I see him move through surya namaskar on his own.

it felt right when I was asked to take over teaching tuesday night yoga at the local rock-climbing center– an experience that challenged me at first and now adds such excitement and joy to my life (just like climbing).

it felt especially right to guide my wild women on our monthly yoga hikes.

the path unfurls its purpose to us at its own will, at its own pace. today I find myself signing the necessary contracts and getting together the correct paperwork to prepare for the launch of my studio teaching career this weekend– no, that still sounds silly. I’ll just be guiding two yoga practices, a fundamentals flow to introduce people to the wonders of the asanas (really, though, to the wonders of their own breath and bodies), and a more dynamic vinyasa power hour.

they say that teaching yoga is just a natural expansion or evolution of one’s own personal practice– that eventually, ease and understanding of the flow and the postures and the rest of the iceberg of yoga (not just the asana-tip) leads to the inclination to guide others towards it; or, more likely, that others begin (and won’t stop) asking one to show them the way.

or maybe it’s this simple: maybe the practice of yoga fills our hearts so abundantly that we can’t help but open others to the grace of what we’ve discovered. and what it’s uncovered in us.

maybe we become lighthouses.

maybe one day we wake up and step onto our mats– just like yesterday– but this time we add language. this time we explain out loud what our bodies are doing– how our joints are stacking, how our muscles are engaging, how our breath is initiating a flow of movement so beautiful our hearts leap from our chests to soften our eyes to the worlds of pure joy within and outside us. maybe others listen, maybe they don’t. but that’s the practice, now, same as it ever was– the voice carried from teacher to teacher to teacher, childlike and ancient and as new as remembering. allow your breath to deepen. connect to your own presence on the mat. lengthen your tailbone towards the earth. ground through the pelvis and feel the lift at the crown of your head. and root. and rise.

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6 thoughts on “the heart is full and now it’s spilling

  1. Marz says:

    I think you must be an amazing teacher Jen! I always felt that my favourite teachers had many qualities, but usually what drew me most to them was their inner light. It was always such a joy to just be with them, and to have someone so graciously offer their joy in yoga to others. It’s a magical thing to be a student, and I must think to be a teacher too <3.

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