Yoga teachers often ask me how I manage to be a traveling yoga teacher. They see my pictures, posts and blogs about my adventures and want to know how they too can have such a life. We live in a global world and we are beginning to understand that we are one people, one family. Our differences are tiny compared to what we all have in common. Our differences teach us so much. Life is The Great Teacher and we are all students, willing or not, here to learn. As an American I am extremely fortunate that I have the ability and the desire to go out and see this great world and all her people. Yoga too has become very global. People around the world regardless of religion, region or creed are hitting the mat and finding a little peace, shedding the layers and breathing deeper. I am grateful I get to contribute to that in my own small way.
When I meet people and they ask me what I do I can't help but feel a little awkward. I am living my dream, seeing the world and teaching what I love. And if I go into any detail they look at me with a mix of happiness for me, a touch of envy and puzzled curiosity. "How does she do it?"
The first thing I want to tell yoga teachers looking to take their act on the road is this, it ain't easy. You have to have a deep love for travel that flows through you like blood in your veins. Otherwise it is a pain in the ass and it will take everything from you that you hold precious. You will have to say goodbye to the life you are living and step into a world unknown to you. You have to let it all go, comfort, convenience, security, relationships, family and friends, steady income, sleep, clothes, fashion, excessive beauty products, your own bed, you favorite pillow, shoes that match your outfit, skin without scars, a strict diet and your endless supply of macrobiotic favorite foods, access to your teachers, your own place, your identity, your complaints, your preferences, your community, your future, your past, your fears, your attitude, your attachments, all that you love and hold so dear ... Travel will change everything and if you want to travel well you have to be willing to let it all go. You have to be willing to let go of the way you think life should be, loosen your grip on what you think reality is and stand humble in a place you have never been. You have to learn to communicate even when you don't speak the language or know the day to day local way. You have to stand humbled, graceful and confidant to open your heart to a world that doesn't owe you anything and make friends in a place where you don't belong. First with yourself and then with those who's world you have entered. If you can do all that you will be gifted a life of unimaginable possibility. You will know true love. You will finally know that you belong and are part of a very big tribe, you will be at home in this world.
As for the teaching yoga bit. You must love yoga like you love your next breath and be willing to work your ass off with an authentic smile in your heart, be committed to your craft and believe in yourself.
The road isn't for the faint of heart. The world won't bend to your whim, the world will crush you and maybe then you will know life, freedom and what it means to be human.