To Ann and All The Teachers in Training


Over the last few months I’ve had the
pleasure of corresponding with Ann, a Yoga Journal reader who is
smack in the middle of yoga teacher training. As you’d expect,
she’s experiencing ups, downs, and growth in about 47 different
directions. Somehow we began writing back and forth just before her training began. It’s been an
honor listening to Ann’s story.

So, Ann, and any of the rest of you who
are becoming our teachers, this conversation is for you:

This weekend I sat on a deck with
friends, acquaintances, and strangers overlooking a huge, blue
Northern Ontario lake. We chatted and laughed our way through five or
six topics before we landed on yoga. One woman at the table has been
teaching bellydancing for 30 years. She belongs to a weekly yoga
class. Another woman takes two classes every week along with Pilates.
The friend next to me goes to her studio once a week, twice if she’s
lucky. We were amazed to have all of this yoga in common.

We talked about different kinds of yoga and different studios. Then someone mentioned teachers. We all mentioned loving our teachers. The second woman–she’s too shy to
let me use her name–ended a pause in this part of the conversation by saying
that her yoga teacher is more than wonderful, that, in fact, her teacher has changed her life. That’s a strong
statement. I asked how her teacher had changed her life, and she
thought for a bit.

“I think she taught me to make myself a priority,” she said.

“I’ve spent years taking care of my kids, my house, meals, laundry, my work, and my husband. I’ve spent decades taking care of myself last.”

Bottom rung on her own
ladder. This lesson is huge.

She was ready, but her yoga teacher’s
constant enthusiasm, openness, and positive values were what she
needed to start climbing.

There wasn’t a woman around that
table who didn’t understand this lesson

So. To Ann and to all of you who are
becoming teachers, this is what you are to us. Teachers, guides,
inspirations, good human beings. You change our lives.

Thanks to you for doing what you love
and for passing it along to us.

Thanks to yoga for making room for all
of us and for encouraging us to value ourselves.

Thanks to you for the conversation,


Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, and speaker (About All
Things Wonderful) in North Bay, Ontario.  Join her on the
and on

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