feeling successful

Yoga teachers tend to be overly-concerned about numbers. That's because the number of people attending your yoga class is usually seen as the measuring stick for success (as it is in many other fields as well).

I know this because I taught yoga for several years in Los Angeles in the early-2000's. At the time, there seemed to be only a dozen or so "successful" local yoga teachers who were packing their classes.

Being a new yoga teacher, naturally I wanted to build up my numbers as quickly as possible, and the temptation was to imitate what all the successful teachers were doing.

Play the songs they were playing. Sequence the poses like they were sequencing. Tell the same kinds of jokes that made me laugh in their classes.

After all, why re-invent the wheel?

But I also found that my obsession with being a successful yoga teacher would cause me to second-guess my own good instincts and tastes in favor of replicating what they were all doing.

While my numbers steadily grew, I never quite felt comfortable in my own skin as a teacher.

It wasn't until I began developing the confidence to teach in my voice, and not someone else's, that I felt the most impactful. Consequently, that was also when my classes grew the most.

Whether you work in yoga, business, or the arts, finding and remaining loyal to your unique voice or perspective is often what will make you FEEL the most successful.

Unfortunately, this is not a process that can be rushed, but it's well worth the journey. And you'll know you've arrived when others begin imitating YOU.

I'll never forget, a friend who was a popular yoga teacher with a very eclectic style of teaching once said: "Just keep doing you until YOU is what they want."

Light Watkins