You've rocked Warrior I thousands of times.
You've breathed into tough twists and big back bends.
You've got this.
You are 100% made up of asanas.
Now trust it.
I've been teaching yoga for 24 years and am here to say that having a personal practice is like having a best friend. It requires consistency, honesty, a whole lotta love and letting go!
Teaching is great, but it's in those sacred moments before and after class that teachers must allow themselves to create, dance with the divine and mover closer to God. That's where the real richness of the teacher lies.
About 15 years ago, when I was still a new teacher, I remember taking a class with Erich Schiffman, one of my favorite teachers in LA, and asking him a simple question when the class ended.
"How do you keep showing up?" I asked. "How have you had a Sadhana or personal practice for so long?"
I've always known that if I could maintain a personal practice, I'd be able to teach forever. But my question was always: how do you stay inspired to practice every single day?
Erich looked at me and then said, "When I wanna move this way..." he swung to the right and wrapped his arms around his body in a bind.. "I do," he said. "And when I wanna move this way, I do that, too," as he swung to the other side. "That's it."
I thought, "Wait, there are no rules?"
What I learned from Erich that day is something that has set my entire teaching philosophy in motion. There are about 72,000 mystical shapes or poses in yoga and you certainly cannot hang out with all of them everyday.
When you give yourself permission to abandon the rules, to listen and truly explore and celebrate your body through the shapes and then share what you discover with your students, the movement becomes medicine. My partner and Laughing Lotus co-founder, Jasmine Tarkeshi, always says that to be a good teacher you've got to be a soul scientist. You truly must go into a laboratory and investigate your sacred self through your body, every single day.