One of the questions we have to answer as part of our application form, as teacher trainees, is this :

Why do you want to become a Bikram Yoga teacher?

There are MANY MANY reasons why people want to become a teacher – inspire, help others, teach a tough class [ya, seriously], monetary reasons [ya, seriously] and for the love they have of the yoga. As my boss said today, sometimes, that’s not enough. You have to make the students [that’s you, or us!] FEEL GOOD, FEEL / EXPERIENCE the benefits, and make them come back!

Enough about the benefits / feeling good. I can write / type / rant till my jaw hurts and my mouth foams, but until *you* try 7 classes in a row [ok, fine, AT LEAST 3], you’ll know what I’m talking about!

Halfway through class I realised : Teaching requires TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF FAITH. When we first started, sure, we may not have been able to touch our toes, our backside foot 45º angle REFUSED to stay flat on the floor and / or you may not have been able to grab your foot for standing bow. If you’re curious, I just described my junk body from 2 years ago. It was thanks to my incredible, supportive and lovely teachers from all over the world [Hong Kong, US, Taiwan, Thailand…] who stuck with all of us, and had FAITH that one day we’d realise WHAT we can really do!

Now I can hear some people shaking their heads going “But you were 21/22 when you started the yoga! Of course your ‘junk body’ would’ve been able to change faster / more rapidly as you’re not frozen stiff like me!”.

Now, let’s take my age out of the equation. Remember, age ain’t NOTHING but a number! But let’s not go out and start dating people way too young, let us keep it clean and simple.

Essentially, it was my teachers’ FAITH and COMMITMENT that we all try our best. Sure, we may not be able to touch our forehead to our toes, or lock the knee out during the first month, or two [took me 6 freaking months to keep my damn knee locked!], but with FAITH, PATIENCE AND DETERMINATION, you can OVERCOME anything! [Yes, WE CAN!] Ya, I prefer US politics over Malaysian politics cause Malaysian politicians have nothing better to do than to cane women / accuse someone of sodomy / say that Twitter and facebook are mechanisms of the west.

As a [newly-minted] teacher, I have FAITH in every SINGLE one of my students. I have faith that ONE DAY, they can touch their forehead to the toes, their top of the head to the feet, kick up into the standing splits. For yourself – until you try, and have faith WITH YOURSELF coupled with the FAITH of your teacher – ANYTHING is possible.


p.s : I’m still alive, thedancingj ! I haven’t fallen off another podium and knocked myself out. That post, is for another day. The one where I fell ONTO the podium. Ha!


Posted on February 20, 2010, in Bikram Yoga, Perso-mei-lly. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I’ve said this before on my blog—I had a teacher who used to tell us each class how yoga was all about faith…faith being “Finally Allowing It To Happen.” I loved that. I once asked him what “it” meant, and he smiled and shrugged and said, “‘It’ could be…anything. Everything. You decide.”

    I think the very best teachers are not the ones who nail the dialogue or create the perfect heat/humidity balance—rather, they are the teachers who help us find and strengthen faith in ourselves.

    Awesome post, Mei. 🙂

  2. It does take faith to continue to go into that hot room and practice ….so I can just imagine it takes faith to teach as well!
    I like Hannah’s comment…finally allowing it to happen. That’s awesome!

  3. Great post Mei! A couple of things… I try to remind myself that there is no rush to get better in the postures. I mean, yes, I want to have pretty postures, but really the benefits come from being in the room and just doing ’em. I’ve got a lifetime to practice this yoga. And one of my teachers said the best thing a few weeks ago – “it’s a practice, not a demonstration.” I’m in class just to do the yoga. Have to remind myself when I’m tempted to take it too seriously.
    I want to take one of your classes someday! Maybe if the stars align and I get to take my trip ’round the world at the end of the year…

  4. Aww shucks, thanks guys! It just warms the cockles of my cold cold heart 🙂

    A. : Yes, no rush, work at your pace. But at the same time, work hard! Very fine balance 🙂

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