I was a Hatha-Vinaysa yoga teacher for 5 years based in France and I loved what I did. The challenging groups were fun and I took pleasure in improving my yoga skills as a teacher with every class. I also got the chance to travel to beautiful yoga retreats, and meet new people every time. In many ways, I was really lucky to live like that.
Two years ago, however, I suffered a blow in my life. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer and my world turned upside down.
During the time that I was taking care of him, I dived deeply into my yoga experience. I desperately wanted to help my dad, to offer him the promise that yoga could help him recover.
Time passed and I became more and more frustrated as I realised that my yoga teacher training and experience had not given me the knowledge nor the tools to help me deal with this life-changing experience.
Of course, I had all the love and the care which I gave him every day, but on a personal level, I was disappointed that I was a yoga teacher who didn’t know about fluid in the pleura, and how it can affect breathing.
A Yoga teacher’s frustration
This affected my classes too because suddenly I started to notice the more vulnerable students. It was as if my dad’s illness had opened my eyes to their suffering, and how different we all are from each another. There was no way back to the yoga teacher I used to be.
There was an irritated voice inside of me that became cynical about the pink leggings, the meaningless mantras and the social media messages. “Be yourself”, “Live in the present”, “Let go”… easier said than done. Surely there was something else to yoga than this? I was losing my dad and I struggled to work the hours I needed to pay for my rent, teaching the same things to entertain a crowd.
I also started to feel unwell, exhausted and close to a burnout. I actually met my destiny with the benefits of Yoga Therapy thanks to my own health problems as I searched for help to feel better in myself. Through a friend I came across Integrative Yoga Therapy, in the US, which was exactly what I was looking for.
Benefits of Yoga Therapy for yoga teachers
Unfortunately, my dad passed way one month later, but regardless of the deep void he left in my heart, he died in a meaningful way. His ordeal inspired me to do something for myself, and for others. I promised I would learn more about health problems and disease, and how yoga can help everyone who needs it.
Through the careful guidance of my Yoga Therapist at the Kripalu School I learned how to bring peace to the breath of someone who struggles to breathe. I practised how to create movement where nothing moved and to bring up a smile in someone with chronic pain.
What I learned at The Yoga Therapy School was closer to the true spirit of yoga than anything I had ever done before. The benefits of Yoga Therapy are not only visible in myself. My work thrives and it is completely different to what it used to be.
Back in France, I am so happy to hear about The Yoga Therapy Institute founded by Montserrat. She is such an inspiring teacher dedicated to Yoga Therapy, which is so needed in Europe. I look forward to following her steps and joining some of the courses for my own professional development.
I believe that my students are safer with me now. I am, in fact, safer within myself, as I learn to respect my true nature. Step by step every day.
With love and light,