I have been wrapped up and distracted by a job that I may or may not get, purely based on state mandates and certifications. All of the interviews, constant resume rewriting in attempts to appease state officials, lengthy phone conversations with the man who is fighting to get me hired have eaten up a tremendous amount of time. This job would partially encompass doing dance/movement therapy with adolescents. For those of you who do not know, dance/movement therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilizes movement to help people develop greater emotional, cognitive, physical, and social integration within their lives (you can check out www.adta.org for more info). I received my master’s in dance/movement therapy four years ago. I have not officially been a dance/movement therapist for approximately two years now. In my last conversation with the man who is pushing to help me be hired he said, “This job could really help you get back on track. I’m sure you didn’t get your master’s to teach yoga and I can’t imagine that’s what you really want to do.” An intense, burning anger started to rise in me when he said that. When I feel myself getting mad and defensive it is always because the person has hit upon some kernel of truth. He is not the first person to question my completely leaving a career I went to graduate school for. Did I get my master’s degree just to teach yoga? No. When I embarked on my journey into grad school, and then into the working world doing what I had been educated and trained to do did I envision it all falling apart? Absolutely not. Have I spent the last two years grappling with stray pieces wondering what the hell happened? Every day.
I did not respond to his comment that I did not get my master’s just to teach yoga and that probably wasn’t what I really wanted to do. Let him think that, he is not alone. He is partially correct; I did not get my master’s to teach yoga. When I got my master’s I had no idea I would one day be teaching at the studio where I regularly practiced. My master’s degree enhances how I approach teaching my yoga classes and allows me to bring a depth that many yoga teachers cannot. I am able to hold the space and carefully attune to what my students are communicating through their bodies. I take note of postural differences, areas of tension, moving more quickly or more slowly than usual, pushing past their limits or backing away from their limits and incorporate all this into how I structure my classes and what I say during my classes. I teach poses and safe alignment, but my therapeutic lens is always there, ready to give me a slightly different perspective. I fall in love with teaching yoga a little more with every class I teach. Teaching brings me great joy. I have learned things about myself and life through teaching and interacting with my students that I probably would not have otherwise learned. I take classes from many older teachers who are in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. I want to be just like them, full of life and vitality, energized by the gift of being able to share something they love with others on a daily basis. I want to spend my life teaching yoga. That is not something I came to lightly, there was a lot of inner turmoil surrounding that personal truth. Maybe at the end of the day my anger and defensiveness at this man’s comment stemmed from the fact that it took me two years of teaching to finally be able to fully honor that I love teaching yoga and I want to spend my life doing so. Maybe it also stemmed from the fact that when we veer off more traditional paths and manage to stumble upon happiness people in this society don’t really know how to acknowledge or accept that.