Enjoying The Process

By Peggy Leder, May, 2017

As of now, I’ve taught seven classes here at Yoga Shanti. I like teaching, but I’ve also been flooded with feelings of inadequacy. The truth is, I don’t feel good enough. I’m just not there yet. But what does being “there” mean? As if “there” were some kind of final destination. The fact is, I don’t feel like a great teacher yet. I don’t doubt my knowledge, but I know my delivery has some room for improvement.

In “When Things Fall Apart”, Pema Chodron says:

“Out of nowhere, we stop struggling and relax. We stop talking to ourselves and come back to the freshness of the present moment. This is something that evolves gradually, patiently, over time. How long does this process take? I would say it takes the rest of our lives.”

I feel like a beginner and I don’t like that feeling. In my mind, I want to be one of those amazing teachers (you know the ones). But Pema’s writing helps me focus on the process of it all. It helps me remember to try to enjoy being right where I am: I do have knowledge to share with others, even as a new teacher with room for improvement.

Yoga has changed my life. Something about connecting movement with breath has been powerful for me. I’ve learned the power of turning inward—something completely foreign to me before being introduced to yoga. Turning inward, allowing myself to feel vulnerable, allowing feelings to bubble up—these things take courage.

Putting our bodies in different shapes—forward bends, backbends, twists—can help with releasing pent-up emotions. Mr. Iyengar says, “Our body is our road map,” and I think he means our bodies hold on to past traumas, both physical and emotional. I’ve found that yoga is an amazing tool for releasing these pent-up emotions, and creating new space in my body.

It’s up to me how I fill that new space.

For now, my focus is teaching, even with all the feelings that being a new teacher brings up. With practice, I’ll get better.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for Colleen and Rodney. It’s an honor and a privilege to be asked to teach at Yoga Shanti. Yes, it’s a yoga studio, but to me it’s more like a healing center—a magical little spot nestled in the village of Sag Harbor. It’s the perfect place to turn inward and let the magic unfold.

Here’s to enjoying the process.

Peggy Leder

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