I started teaching regular yoga classes back in January 2018 so only 6 months ago and yet, it feels much longer than that. Not because I’m such a wonderful teacher who turns up for a class and makes up a sequence there and then, adding some bits of wisdom between poses, but because teaching yoga feels natural and I very much enjoy it.
I love the space where I have been teaching for the past half a year – a small yoga studio in the heart of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire - and I have managed to acquire a small group of regular students, some of whom have been coming from day one while others joined just a few weeks ago.
I still put a lot of time and effort into preparation of each class, but it does pay off. Sitting and talking in front of a number of people who have paid to be there with me does no longer feel intimidating but exhilarating. I do admit, some classes have a better feel to them and I leave, feeling completely satisfied, and then there are classes, after which I do wonder why I have ever taken up teaching at all. But yoga is a life-long journey and the same can be said about teaching it. I continue to be a diligent student myself and I always make sure that I have things to share with my students to whom I’m eternally grateful for supporting me in my quest and my dream to be a good (enough) teacher.
I have been thinking about setting up another class for a while now, but there is much more to it than just finding the right venue and attracting enough students. Many newly qualified yoga teachers start by covering for other teachers in their local gyms or even yoga studios if they are lucky, hoping to be given a regular class to teach one day.
I have covered for other teachers myself, which has been invaluable experience, and to my utter delight I have just agreed to take on maternity cover for the lovely Yogi Julie.
As of 21st June 2018, I will be teaching another regular class every Thursday from 18.30 to 20.00 in Micklefield Library, Micklefield Road, High Wycombe, HP13 7HU. Please come and join me!
We all tend to gravitate towards certain people in life. I am not talking about physical attraction, but this kind of inner appeal, which not always can we put a finger on. There is something about these people that resonates with us and we instantly feel better in their presence. And this is even more true about yoga teachers. Yes, we can go to a particular class because there is a yoga studio around the corner from our house or its time slot suits us. However, that’s barely ever the case. We usually try a few different classes, different yoga styles, and before we know it, there is a yoga teacher whose class we keep coming back to and whose class we don’t want to miss.
Since I started practicing yoga I have found only a handful of such teachers and Stephanie Snyder is definitely one of them. Stephanie is a San Francisco-based yoga teacher who have been teaching yoga since 2000; she teaches workshops, trainings and retreats internationally, and is an industry festival and conference presenter. Stephanie comes and teaches in London once a year, usually a whole series of weekend workshops.
I first signed up for her workshops at Triyoga Studio in London four years ago, not really knowing who she was, but back then the description of her strong Vinyasa Flow practice appealed to me. Like anyone else I do tend to feel apprehensive when I don’t know what to expect, but those feelings dissipated within 15min or so of her very first workshop. From day one I have found Stephanie down-to-earth, warm, and funny; her storytelling compelling and thought-provoking, her asana practice strong yet methodical; her sequencing logical and when she chants I have goose bumps all over.
I have since attended every single workshop she has taught in the UK, I have signed up to her newsletter and I enjoy her online classes on yogaglo.com.
Over the past weekend I attended four of Stephanie’s workshops at Triyoga Camden under the title ‘Becoming Whole + Mending the Chaos Gap’. She used the term ‘chaos gap’ to describe a gap between our inner spiritual world and the outside material world, from which most of human confusion and suffering arise. I have learnt and taken a lot from her workshops, but one of the main things for me was the reminder that there is an ’unstruck and untouched’ place within all of us, to which we need to stay connected at all times. And the only way to find and be able to return to this place of quiet peace and steadiness is only through regular and consistent practice of asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation.