Last week I saw on Instagram that my local yoga studio was looking for a teacher for power yoga. I love this studio, and until now I’ve been way too intimidated to seek out a teaching spot there. The studio is where I go to find peace, and I didn’t want to risk changing that. In a moment of panic and excitement, I immediately sent them a message, and to my surprise, the owner gave me a call that day. I sent over a few of my recorded vinyasa classes, and she asked me to stop by the studio to teach a class for a few teachers. I was psyched that she was interested in my teaching, and I decided that I was going to just keep my cool and not think about it too much.
I really believed I could just float through my week without the anticipation of the audition weighing on me, even though in my mind the stakes were high. As I tried to piece together my class, however, I started to overthink it. Is this really a good idea? What if they don’t hire me? Will it be awkward and ruin my student relationship with the studio? What if they are looking for someone who is an expert at arm balances? Does it seem like I’m trying too hard if I add another crunch here? Who am I to teach a Level 2/3 class alongside their rockstar teachers?
My inner mean girl would not pipe down, and she started coming through with some major digs. You don’t have anything profound to say. How are you going to teach advanced students when you can’t even hold a handstand? You don’t have a yoga body. No one wants to learn from someone who looks like you. You don’t belong at that studio. Why are you putting yourself through the stress for nothing? I knew I was getting in my own head, and even though I could still hear my own rational voice above the noise, the racket was really distracting.
The morning of the audition, I went up to my meditation room. I drew a card from my deck to help guide my day, and I got the Buddha. The Buddha card represents knowing your true self beyond the material world. He symbolizes inner peace and an awareness that everything just is – no good or bad.
Then I glanced over at my vision board for 2020. Right in the center, it said “Land your yoga dream job.” Then it dawned on me – I have been creating this all year. All the training, practicing, donating time during Covid to teach extra classes, has been preparing me for this. I’ve rehearsed a million times, and I’m ready. I was letting my ego get the best of me, but in my heart I knew that I could do it. My true self was at peace, not concerned about the outcome, but ready to step forward and share what I’ve learned.
So I meditated and visualized myself as a teacher at the studio. I practiced the entire flow and knew it like the back of my hand. Then I got in my car and did what I always do when I’m nervous about speaking in front of other people – turned on some Ariana Grande and sang along at the top of my lungs until I got to the studio. It really helps to balance that throat chakra and get your energy up! I marched into the studio and was greeted warmly by the team. Even with my heart pounding out of my chest, I got through the class and the teachers thought I did a great job. I walked out of there on cloud nine, so proud of myself for getting up there and doing something I would never have done six months ago. I’ll find out in the next few days if I got the spot, but even if I don’t, I’ve proven to myself that I can step up to the challenge, even if it terrifies me.
We all have our stories to protect ourselves from getting our hopes up. My teacher, Jacqui, always says, “Who would you be without your story? Who could you be?” If you never put yourself out there because of XYZ, how will you know what you are really capable of? And the thing is, you never actually fail if you keep getting back up. The good news is that even if you don’t win the grand prize, life goes on! When one door closes, another opens, and I know in my heart that is true. You just have to look around and find the door.
Next time that inner mean girl starts to chirp in your ear, fire back. You won’t have the courage to walk through the door if you only trust her voice. Would you speak to your best friend the way you speak to yourself? Think about what they would say to you in the face of a challenge, and have some compassion for yourself. Let the heart speak louder than the mind. We all have a tiny Buddha inside of us, peaceful and serene, able to look past the illusion of life and just be. Channel your inner Buddha, and know that you are love, you are light, and you can.