Have you ever had a recurring thought, habit or pattern that you couldn’t seem to let go? Perhaps you catch yourself in fleeting moments of daydreaming about how life would be if you pursued your passions? What does your daydream look like? It’s wild how your dream is not really so far from becoming your reality. All you need to do is close the gap between where you are right now and the life that you want to live. This was how my journey in teaching yoga started.
No big deal. Just tons of hard work, perseverance and transcending many failures.
My Starting Point in Teaching Yoga
In 2013, when practicing yoga was fairly new to me, I would spend hours browsing through celebrity yogis’ Instagram accounts. I was so amazed at how they contorted their perfect bodies in shapes that I never knew were humanly possible. But what really piqued my interest was how they were able to travel and work anywhere as yoga teachers. At that time, and perhaps even today, being a digital nomad or a travelling freelancer was not a viable career option for many conservative Asians. With well-meaning parents choosing our careers for us at a very young age, nurturing a hobby to potentially become our career just didn’t seem to be all that appealing to Asian sensibilities.
As I became more deeply interested in a holistic yoga practice, I spent less daydreaming on social media, and focused on how much I still needed to learn about the practice and about myself. I continued my daily yoga practice and encouraged myself to go deeper into meditation. I started reading more anatomy and philosophy related books and articles and applying these theories into practice, instead of gushing over curated celebrity yogi feeds.
The more I learned about the practice, the less interested I got with becoming a perfect pretzel. I became more concerned with safe movements in yoga poses and practicing self-awareness well outside the yoga mat. I concentrated on my own practice, instead of watching how other people do theirs. And that’s what really made a difference in my life.
Fast forward to 2020 – I am still a dedicated yoga student, but I also became a full-time yoga teacher, studio owner, mindfulness coach, teacher trainer and the occasional traveling yoga teacher. I now run the yoga studio through the comfort of my outdoor office anywhere that may be in the world.
Pre-pandemic, I started offering classes outside my city – now I travel to other cities from time to time for classes and workshops. I realize it’s not as easy and glamorous as Instagram makes it seem. Nothing in social media is ever the same in real life. I have shed many tears and have stumbled upon countless failures. But I brush them off and soldier on. You see, the only formula I know is grit. And this journey in teaching yoga has seen its fair share.
But what I do know now is that it’s possible – and it’s worth it! All the hours and diligence I put into my practice, my training, and my readings are slowly starting to pay off. It goes without saying that it did not happen overnight. Nothing worth having comes easy.
Intense focus leads to remarkable results.
It took seven years of building a loving and sustainable relationship with myself, my practice, my vocation, and my professional network. Gradually, I eased into my sense of purpose. I dedicated seven years of intense focus on the reality that I wanted to create.
Right now, I am still far from where I want to be. But day by day, I work hard to get there and I feel myself getting closer. I have a few distractions every now and then, which I drop the moment they start to take me away from my goals. But every day, I power through each failure and celebrate each tiny victory. And it’s so worth it!
Now is the perfect time for all of us to explore what makes our soul more alive. Forget about not being able to afford things. Become a benevolent opportunist! Not everything needs money. Hone your skills with whatever resources are readily available to you. You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great. Develop that laser-like focus. And once you become good enough, begin seeking ways to get paid, little by little.
Start with having enough to cover the bills. Then eventually you will have more than that. But always through honest work and never through shady schemes and tactics. The road to success is not one grand gesture. It’s multiple tiny efforts that build up to a higher purpose, how we reclaim our soul, and how we finally assert the reality that we once only dreamed of.
Blessings and bliss,