This blog is written by Emily Curtis for Parimukti

When I look for a yoga class to take, where I’ll spend any appreciable amount of time—I care a lot about the teacher. My connection, my trust, and my respect all form potential roadblocks; as well they form potential clearings to my learning, to my practice flourishing.

I got really lucky when I gave yoga a second chance. In the first class I took, over 15 years ago, I injured myself, the ‘final’ pose was too unfamiliar, too demanding—even for a supple 18 year old dancer—and I pulled a muscle The Buddhain my rib. The teacher in a class of 40+ people didn’t offer variations, nor did she explain the risks of ‘over-doing it.’ I don’t blame her now, but I didn’t go back to her class, or yoga eagerly.I did eventually find my way back to a yoga class after glowing recommendations from a friend about her teacher. Little did I know, this was to mark the beginning of a new chapter with my beloved teacher. Her class was like a shelter from the storm of my engineering curriculum. She had deep roots in yoga and meditation and she taught from a base of insight and awareness, curiosity and play. I fell in love with yoga. I flourished. Because I respected her, and I trusted her, I was able to connect to yoga through my connection to her; and most importantly, the  flourishing meant that I was able to connect with myself—an attribute that typifies a yoga entanglement. My time with her lasted over 6 years, but she will always be my teacher, and my friend. I got yoga. Thank you Therese.

Recently I just completed a teacher-training course with Parimukti. Wow. The month long experience was sound, helpful, and safe. I got what I wanted from amazing teachers and an amazing environment. I got community, individual attention, to practice like mad, to inform my teaching style, confidence, knowledge, and inspiration… Now here I am at the gates of a new track. One where I will stand at the front of the class. And as my first class as teacher approaches, I have many memories, tools, and feelings standing with me. I know the texture I will bring to the classroom is unique to me, and yet I hope, its ubiquitous in its conveyance of the yoga I got. The yoga that has been alive for millennia, that has touched millions. I naturally have lots of questions. The questions that stand out in my mind are the aspects that point to my own spiritual development—things that place me as a student on the path of a teacher. I’m happy that it’s a process and that the learning continues. And I’m ready, to embark on the journey as a student on the teacher’s path, to share my passion, to share what I’ve been given, and to learn how to reach people. I’m ready to take on a new lens for my yogic development and to discover a new ground of being.

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