Teaching is Living Your Passion
As many other teachers in the world, I believe that teaching is my dharma – my purpose in life. Both my parents were teachers, and I have always drawn into teaching. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a teacher is a person or thing that teaches something; especially: a person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects.
In my case, although the subject of teaching changes, it is the act of teaching itself that always draws me in. When I teach, my blood bubbles of happiness. It is the same fire that pulled me and turned me into a yoga teacher. I started to realized that teaching is my passion.
Then I start to look and learn from other teachers – yoga teachers or teachers in other subjects – how they live their teaching passion. There is similarity in these great teachers. They are teaching for a bigger reason, a purpose larger than themselves. They are not only drawn by the act of teaching but also how in the end it changes the students’ lives – or even themselves.
Teaching can also be Draining
With such passion, so much intensity, so much energy given, the teaching activity can be draining your energy.
I used to take passions for granted. Passion will stay alive no matter what, no? But I was wrong. Like love, we cannot take it for granted. We have to nurture it and keep it alive.
It is devastating to lose your passion. But it happens. How can one lose love into her or his very purpose in life? What went wrong? How do we fix it? Do we even want to fix it?
Bring the Love back and Keep the Passion Alive
There are ways to bring back love into your teaching.
Change is a good thing. I found out that mixing up what we teach regularly can bring a cool breeze into our teaching. For example, if one always teaches Vinyasa Flow, maybe he or she should start to teach Yin classes. If one always teaches in a city studio, maybe go and teach outdoor on the beach or in the park. Maybe do a yoga for the community based on donation. As a yoga teacher, I believe that there are a huge range of definition when we talk about teaching. It does not always teach asana (yoga postures). Particularly when we talk about yoga as a whole lifestyle, teaching can also means teaching pranayama, teaching meditation or even teaching the yogic way of life. So many options, the sky is the limit.
Then of course, we must practice ourselves. Sometimes we are too busy teaching that we don’t do what we teach. If we teach pranayama, practice pranayama ourselves. If we practice meditation, set aside a time and meditate ourselves.
Learn further. Join a workshop of a fellow teacher. Read more book. Join discussions. Avoid being dogmatic with our teaching. When we are open minded, we might feel much space to grow.
More than anything, I have learned that teaching is an art. As the artists, once in a while, we need to step back and look from other perspective, cultivating awareness of the teaching action itself. Are we doing things in automatic-pilot mode, or are we still present? Great teaching is hard to be defined, but it is recognizable when we see it. This is the moment when you touch life and change life.
Be humble and realize that there is always a room for improvement. If you feel stuck, don’t give up, keep creating your art. Happy teaching!!