A Powerful Teacher is a Powerful Student

My yoga practice and teaching reminds me of my GPS system in my car. 

Whenever I take a turn off-course, my ever-faithful Miss Nancy Neverlost (Yes, I named her) seems to find me. “Recalculating,” she whispers, delivering me to my path again. 

I believe the soul knows what it wants and gives us clues. It took me 20 years to find my way to being a yoga teacher. At 24, I arrived at yoga as a young sleep-deprived mother with low back issues and no concept of fostering my own growth. I returned to yoga on and off over the course of many years, many children, and many different styles. When I found Baptiste Yoga a few years ago, I also found the foundation of what I now know as my personal GPS: daily practice and self-inquiry.

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 9.46.58 AMFrom the place of inquiry I started to ask the questions “What if my passion is my purpose?” and “If it is, what's possible now?” Then the journey shifted into high gear; I became a “Yes!” to teacher training, then “Yes!” to Levels One & Two, then “Yes!” to co- facilitating teacher training and now I am a being a “Yes!” for Baptiste certification. 

The more I practice and teach, the fuzzier and fuzzier the line between on the mat and off the mat gets. I practice and teach almost daily, my yoga mat is always with me, and I seem to live my entire life in yoga clothes. I'm not sure if yoga is my life or if my life is yoga. Either way is fine by me. As a result, I can feel quickly when I've disconnected from my teaching and practice.

Daily practice is essential. It’s the bridge I build to the biggest possible version of my life. If I skip a few days, my body will let me know. Mastering and trying on poses demands a foundation, a body of work that can only happen by showing up each day. In the past few years of immersion into the Baptiste world, I have adopted a mantra, “Show up, stay, do the work.” This only happens if I practice as often as possible. 

Regular teaching is essential. My most profound practices have been the ones I've had just after or before I teach. My practice lands more deeply in my body when I’ve just taught. And my teaching seems to land in others’ bodies and hearts right after I practice. I’m more deeply connected to the work and therefore more deeply connected to myself.

When I actively keep the Baptiste Methodology alive in my practice and teaching, they stay fresh and I stay inspired.

Baptiste Yoga has taught me is that the daily practice and inquiry are the keys to re-routing. These tools get me back to being powerfully present and back to what matters to me. My physical practice keeps my teaching on track, and vice versa. When I feel my teaching well going dry, I know it’s time to get back on my mat and back into inquiry. When I feel myself going astray—either as teacher or student—I can hear my internal GPS whisper, “Recalculating.”

Written by Linda Fenelon. Linda is a Board Certified Health Coach, mama of five, yoga addict and lucky in love. She loves teaching and co-facilitating teacher training at Baptiste Inspired Studio Epic Yoga in Nashville, TN. 

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Beautifully written, dear friend. You’ve inspired me since the day I met you at Level One earlier this year. Love and couragem xo

Julie Brazitis on April 24, 2015

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