when i took my first teacher training, i was sure i already knew everything coming in…and at least as much as my teachers. i was merely taking the course to get my certification, as a formality. i mean, i already had almost a year of experience. i was teaching. i could do inversions in the middle of the room. what else could there possibly be to learn????
when my final exam came back littered with comments about my lack of humility and willingness to learn, i was beside myself with indignity! how dare they say that my ego was in the way of my learning! how dare they!
well…that was my ego speaking.
i’ve now been practicing for eleven years and every day i try to learn something new. and for every new thing i learn, i realize just how much i don’t know. and it’s humbling. yoga is a lifelong practice and as long as i live–even if i study all day every day–i will never know it all. ultimately, i’ll barely ever get past scratching the surface. i know that now. i accept that. and my ego would not be able to coexist with that reality.
two years ago i took my second teacher training with sri dharma mittra. it was my dream to learn from him and stepping into his studio is a lot like stepping into a temple. if you are receptive.
i went into that training with the truth instead of my ego. i went there to learn. i was a blank slate going in and by surrendering, i was able to have the must enriching, enlightening, and fulfilling experience of my life.
and i know that had i gone to that exact same training ten years earlier, i would have come out with nothing.
now, i teach all over the world to teachers of all levels. invariably, it’s the ones who have been teaching for a month, a year, maybe two years, who think they know the most, who are the most closed off to learning anything new…because that would challenge their egotistical belief that they already know it all.
these days, it doesn’t take much to reach cult status as a yoga teacher. if you’re attractive, or you’re a gymnast, or you’re popular on facebook, you can be rocketed into international superstardom practically overnight. but don’t forget: if you want to be a teacher, you must first learn how to be a student. you must release your ego and you must be ready to grow. you must learn humility. there is no room for ego in yoga. so make your choice: ego or yoga. and make it wisely, or, i promise you, you’re really going to miss out…