"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost." -- Martha Gram
In my social circle, I see plainly that those who age without becoming more comfortable being themselves are the ones suffering the most. Passion isn't just a surge of energy or a lust after something. It is the path inside us in which our energy can move through with great ease. When the path is obstructed or the energy is misdirected we experience hindrances. I hear people complain about life difficulties--other people and outer social conditions. To me, it's all part of maturation -- learning how to be better at being ourselves. True, there are real social injustices. It is incumbent upon each one of us to find our small ways in the world and make ourselves useful to others. When it comes to living our passion there are no losers. Others gain from our fulfilling passionate and purposeful lives.
Being born is a privilege. It is a given. We didn't have to earn our birth but we have to earn the living. The aging process eases us into a more efficient being. Without maturity there would be no learning at all. Maturation is a deepening of life skills. We learn through trials and errors. All the wounds and traumas in the body and psyche simultaneously toughen and tenderize us. We need to remain raw enough to soak in new experiences. And we need to be rough enough to weather the storms of life. As human, we spend a great amount of time working from the early adulthood or younger to retirement age. It serves us all to let our passion sustain our energy. Over the years I've observed in myself and others the struggle of being yoga teachers. Most trainees don't become yoga teachers long term. For those who do, it is because they've found unique paths for their passion to manifest through serving particular needs in others.
Yoga, as a holistic practice, offers us tools to become ourselves efficiently. It has helped me become proficient at earning my living, directly as a yoga teacher and indirectly as a mature person. Even if you don't plan to become a yoga teacher, I hope my sharing helps clarify the individual path in earning the living through your passion. Your distinct personality stays with you from birth to death. There is no way to live your passion without knowing yourself. Below are the three main types of yoga instructors. I invite you to reflect how your personality influences your work and how you can optimize your passionate energy to best serve yourself and others.
1. Leader--Guru or Teacher
You have a deep knowledge in one or more specializations and a desire to lead groups of students from point A to Z methodically. You prefer regular groups of attendees with similar level of understanding and physical fitness in a formal learning environment of established studios and gym, schools and corporate programs.
2. Supporter--Healer or Therapist
You have a keen understanding of an individual's needs and a desire to support each person through the healing journey. You prefer teaching privates and small groups and gravitate toward therapeutic and or medical settings. You may find yourself teaching at VAs, non-profit health organizations, or hospitals.
3. Entertainer--Artist or Performer
You have a vast creativity and a desire to inspire others to live up to themselves through their own creative means and understanding. You prefer teaching larger groups of diverse attendees in a less restrictive environment that welcomes your experimental spirit.
I am the entertainer. I believe that when you follow your unique path anyone and anything is your teacher. Hence, I avoid calling the yoga participants my students. They teach and inspire me as much if not more than my teaching them. I balance my creative agenda by gauging how others respond to my performance. I consider myself a choreographer and include creative movements and inspirational messages in my classes. I don't regurgitate a method exactly. I utilize various methods by combining, subtracting and adding. My passion is in composing the olds into new and fresh offerings. For example, I'm very good at cooking new dishes from the leftovers and have an aversion for following recipes. Now it's your turn. What are you passionate about? How do you let your passion earn your living?