The Fall 2016 class of SYU are now team teaching their first public classes at Scholé Yoga Salt Lake. It's an amazing experience to be a part of, and often very emotional for the men and women who have spent hundreds of hours learning the skills that help them guide others to be their own best teacher. It’s also moving for us faculty to see how incredibly much these students have grown over just a few months.

Being part of our first few “test out” classes in December brought back memories of my own first public class. I was nervous during my SYU team-taught class, but it was when I taught all on my own for the first time that I really faced my real battle. And that battle was with myself.

My class went totally fine. But in my head, the voice inside was full of doubts. It told me so many terrible things about myself that I wanted to literally run from the room. It was kind of shocking to see, but somehow I stood my ground and got through it. The experience was so intense that I can still immediately come back to those emotions when I think about them.

Witnessing what my own mind was trying to do taught me just how much teaching takes all the lessons we experience and learn on the mat to the next level. You can fight through your own battles on the mat, but once you’re on the mic, you start working on a whole other level of making peace with yourself. I’m far from flawless as a teacher, but now, I know far better than to expect that. Besides, I don't want to go to any yoga class where the teacher thinks the most important thing is being “perfect.” Sharing meaning and giving people the space to connect with what they need is far more important to me.

As a yoga teacher and student, I have found that real growth comes from learning to stop pushing things away and accepting our own imperfections as part of what make us unique. We all have flaws and opportunities to continue growing.

Learning to embrace the things our mind tries to push away helps quiet the voice that tells you that you’re not good enough yet, and opens your heart to accepting yourself and others just as they are. It makes it okay to be learning a new skill, a lesson that is especially hard as you get older and more used to being good at the things you do. It feels uncomfortable to be rough around the edges, but without that feeling, we’re probably not really learning anything new in life.

As an SYU facilitator, it’s hard sometimes to watch others go through that transformation. The path is not an easy one. But I know how powerful and valuable it can be to walk through the fire in your own mind and come out shining and far stronger on the other side. And at SYU, no one ever has to do it alone.

Keep watching the Scholé Yoga app for more free SYU student classes coming up soon. If you’re brave enough to grow more than you ever thought possible, we start the next semester of Scholé Yoga University in March. I’d be grateful to join you on your journey if you choose to join us.