Come As You Are To The Mat

Dianne Bondy
Come As You Are To The Mat

I have had the honor to teach yoga for the past 10 years. It is an amazing blessing full of challenges and triumphs. I have had the opportunity to teach to thousands of people and I feel blessed to have had this amazing experience. Some of the classes I have taught were both emotionally and physically challenging, while other classes were blissful and relaxing. I have learned that when you teach yoga it is always best to teach from where you are in life. When teaching yoga always bring your truest authentic self to the mat; simply be who you are and not a copy of someone else.

The very first yoga studio I ever worked at, the owner and primary teacher had a very specific way of teaching yoga. I noticed that all the other teachers who worked for her taught the same way. She set the standard of what she wanted to see her in studio. I was truly intimidated and tried my best to emulate her teachings. I fell short. It was so hard for me to be anything other than what I was; which is playful and animated when I teach. I am a true extrovert and my light grows bigger the more I engage others. I love basking in everyone’s light. I tried to be quiet and calm but it simply is not in my nature.

I thought I would fail as a yoga teacher. I didn’t have that quiet resolve and calming presence I thought was required.. Because my classes where interactive, fun and unconventional, I was sure I was going to be found out as a fraud. I was terrified that people would say…she is not a yoga teacher because...( you fill in the blank) Then I took a workshop with an incredible teacher names Desiree Rumbaugh, and she was so much fun. She had a personality that was larger than life. She made jokes, she told stories about herself and her practice. She was honest about her challenges and her successes and she interacted playfully with students. I was reborn on my mat! I saw that you could be an inspiring yoga teacher if you just taught from your truest self.

Now I find inspiration for my teachings in my every day adventures in life. Each and every time I come to my mat to teach a class I say a prayer. I ask the universe to guide through asana and to help my students find their way. I channel the divine energy that sits around me in this magical space and I have faith that those who share this experience, are drawn to take from it what they need. I tell stories, I laugh, I breathe and I always share a little piece of myself. I make no apologies for being exactly who I am. I show my students that I am learning and struggling and breathing with them. I am doing the best I can in each moment. I show my students that you come as you are to the mat. This is your chance to just be in the moment. There is no judgment, no fear, only love and gratitude. Never be afraid to come to yoga exactly as you are; it is what is intended. Shine your light bright.