How to become a yoga teacher

  1. Start to practice yoga. It will be hard and you will be very bad at it. Perhaps, give it ten minutes at a time, with a video from youtube.
  2. Stop practicing yoga. Realize you unlearned how to breathe at birth. It will be difficult to find air in the darkness. Lift the blankets of your life off your chest and let it spring open. Clear out the cobwebs from between your ribs.
  3. Start to practice yoga again.
  4. Find a studio. One you feel at home in. It doesn’t matter if it’s hot, or not, it doesn’t matter if it’s vinyasa or aerial or buti or the breezeway outside your apartment. As long as it is yours.
  5. Lie still on your mat and stare at the ceiling for a while. Perhaps a few months. Whatever feels right.
  6. Practice yoga. Practice until your limbs tremble and the walls of your house are covered in footprints from kicking up into handstands. Practice until the sweat drips down and you begin to learn your own name. Practice until the mat has no edges and the walls of your studio are covered in stars.
  7. Sign up for a teacher training course. It will be expensive. It will seem too expensive. After all, it’s only yoga.
  8. Go to the yoga classes, collect your materials, begin to do your homework.
  9. Sometime in the first week you will feel victorious. Drink it like wine.
  10. Somewhere in the third week you will feel defeated. Drink it like water.
  11. Somewhere near the end you will feel new. Drink it like a bottomless well of starlight.
  12. After all, it’s only yoga.
  13. Remember you had planned to finish all your required class hours in record time. Remember who you were when you planned that. Say goodbye to her. Remember her with kindness.
  14. A few months later, remember you have not met your mat in a long time. You have practiced on it, sweat on it, gripped it, and rolled it, but you have not met it. Kneel and kiss the rubber. Apologize.
  15. Practice yoga. Greet people you hate with a genuine smile. Hug people you don’t usually hug. Breathe when you would rather not breathe.
  16. Complete your class requirements just under the wire. Celebrate in your soul with the wine and the water and the bottomless well of starlight.
  17. Forget to pick up your certification.
  18. Teach. Teach at schools and at gyms, teach in your living room and in the park, teach over coffee and teach on the phone, teach alone in your own soul with the rising and the setting of the moon. Teach.
  19. Remember that you have not turned in your paperwork to receive your certification. Brew some coffee and return to your mat with fresh caffeination. Forget again about the piece of paper. Teach yourself more yoga.
  20. Get sick. Get so sick your bones tremble and your head becomes full of undone bits of life rattling like so much soup in a can and your eyes cannot focus. Forget everything but work. Forget yoga.
  21. Continue to work until your fingers are only bone and your ribs cannot remember how to open. Open your mouth to breathe and find no air. Lie in your bed and let yoga happen to you, for you can do nothing for yourself.
  22. Remember you have not turned in your paperwork to receive your certification. Brew some tea — coffee makes you ill now — and stain the walls of the studio in your chest. Hang tapestries inside your ribs and let them flutter with breath.
  23. Fall like the leaves in September in the town where you were born. Fall like snowflakes in January in the town where you born. Fall like the branches coated in ice, full of sunlight, cracking like gunshots across the town where you were born.
  24. Sew your mat into the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. Build a studio from what is left of your shin bones, click your vertebrae into place as its tiled roof, wallpaper it with breath.
  25. Go to the place where you studied. Sit in a small room and let your teachers listen to your breath. Let go of yoga. Take hold of yoga. Let go of breath. Take hold of breath.

There. That is all. You are a teacher now.

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Successful life with chronic illness in poetry and prose.

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Amanda Malone

Amanda Malone

Successful life with chronic illness in poetry and prose.

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