I am excited to announce that I've launched the official Facebook Page for 'Mona The Yoga Teacher'. In addition, I've also created a Yoga IG account that links to my new FB Page.
This allows me to add students + fellow yogis that I meet at studios and/or from www.yogatoday.com without compromising the privacy of my personal account. It also provides a forum for me to share my yoga philosophies, developments, whereabouts, photos, etc., without bombarding my immediate family and friends - as they're usually all too well and over-informed about my love for the practice.
It's a good, win-win, positive step. However, it took some time and much consideration to take this step. Why? To be very raw and honest, when the idea first occurred, odd feelings came up. I thought to myself, who do you think you are to have a 'Teacher Page'?
I know I am not the only yoga teacher who feels or has felt this way. I've had a dozen hushed conversations with others teachers who have repressed and/or processed these very same, dare I say, insecurities.
So I want to openly talk about this white elephant. Why do we have these stories and where do they originate? The community encourages, practically preaches, for us to let go of our hang-ups, so why all the hang-ups?
Let's rewind a few years: I had just given up my regular day job to put all my energy into becoming a full-time yoga instructor - and with my marketing and graphic design background, making a website seemed like a logical step. I would come home after long days of reaching out to studios, and begin to work away on Photoshop & Dreamweaver. It brought me immense fulfillment to be working on a project for my personal growth, and to have all the creative freedom I wanted. I was beyond excited to do what I was doing. This was my project, my baby.
However, when it was finally time to launch, after all the late nights at the computer, I found myself paralyzed with doubt. Who do you think you are? I wondered what my fellow yogis would think. Many instructors had been teaching for far longer than I, and didn't bother with the World Wide Web or marketing, period. Was I breaching some code?
I needed an outside opinion. After all, I'd given up my day job, the somewhat secure paycheck, to teach. Was I off my rocker? I sought advice from those who wore a suit and tie to work. After a few glasses of wine, some serious analytical talk, and a few good laughs, the verdict was in: they thought I was crazy. Downright crazy. Share the damn site and scream it from the rooftops. That or go beg for your job back. True. I sure as hell didn't have a sponsor, so I was going to have to make it a somewhat fruitful (ouch) business. It was then that I realized that in a twisted attempt to be respectful (to yoga, I guess?) I'd been willing to completely short change myself. There was and is nothing wrong with letting people know I exist, I teach, and I welcome new students. Why the shame?
Ever since yoga first entered into the West, its teachers and practitioners have been scrutinized, and the more mainstream it becomes, the bigger the microscope. The business of yoga, and in many ways rightfully so, is on an even tighter public surveillance. The cold-as-ice truth is, the judgement within the yoga realm runs thick like molasses, no different from other businesses or niche communities. It's far beyond discussing ethics, ancient traditions, or correct anatomy: it's too this, or too that, the music, or the lack of, her shorts are too short, the chanting is weird, no, that's NOT how you pronounce shavasana, oh, and apparently, he eats meat. I'd heard it everyday, and I'm no saint. Most of us don't mean any harm with our insignificant comments, but in the end they add up, and it made me want to stay small. For me, this was the root of my hesitance, my shame, and my irrational worries. I needed to face it.
What I've realized is that whenever you stand up, you're going to be judged. Point blank. Have you seen the comments on celebrities' IG's or FB pages? They're painful to read! The disconnect that the modern-day means of communication harbors is massive. There is little to zero accountability, which makes these media platforms a bloody massacre. So, the question is - can you stand up anyways - especially if it's something worth getting on your feet for? I know I don't want to live my life on my bum bum. Most of the time I prefer to stand vs sit and run vs walk. And that was that.
Before I made my new profile public, I asked myself again: Who do you think you are? And this is my answer.
I'm a young woman who loves yoga. It changes me, for the better, everyday. When given the gift, the opportunity, to share this love, I am elevated. I only teach what I practice and what I've personally experienced. I am a student, first and foremost. I certainly don't know everything. In fact, I don't know the half of it, and maybe never will. I'm far from the best or the most seasoned, but I am passionate and willing to share my humble experience. I'm not the most advanced or flexible, but I'll fall and laugh with you. I am on the same journey as you, and willing to share my path. And I want to learn from yours, and learn with you.
Please join me in the conversation and share with me who you are on my Facebook:
www.facebook.com/monalisagodfreyyoga and find me instagram: @monalisayoga
Thank you for all your support and love! Namaste!
P.S I've been listening to this mix - enjoy!