This time two years ago I was showing up several times a week to a storefront out in Milwaukie (Oregon) filled with impressive looking Pilates equipment just hoping that someone would show up for yoga.  It was my first official gig as a yoga instructor, besides this I had offered some free outdoor yoga and was putting in apprenticeship hours at a local studio.

Some days one person would show, usually none, and I think one day I was lucky enough to get two actually breathing humans in the same class.

That gig ended and I got a job at a aquatic center.  Mine were brand new classes and no one showed up to these either.  My low came one night when the manager suggested that I walk around the pool telling people about my classes if no one showed.  Luckily that night a person came so I didn’t have to stoop over wet swimmers and try to explain to them how cool yoga was (although I probably would have done it!).  I still have that gig and now it’s my favorite one.  Two years later I have a steady stream of regulars, most of which I consider my friends.

I got more yoga gigs, I started teaching gentle/restorative yoga, and spent A LOT of time LEARNING how to teach soft instead of intense. I subbed for Hatha and learned how to teach without a bunch of flow.

I also learned to not care so much what other people think, but to follow my own intuition.  I learned that you can’t please everyone and that’s okay.  I learned that yoga is yoga, which sounds overly simple, but if I can manage to remember that while I teach, I’ll be okay.  Yoga is yoga is yoga.  Just teach yoga.

I scrambled to get jobs two years ago, now I have to turn some down. I have some corporate gigs where I go teach working professionals at their places of work after their shifts.  I teach a class at a bouldering gym.  I don’t have one actual ‘yoga studio’ job, but for me that feels like normal.

If I could say something to myself two years ago I would tell me not to give up.  That’s definitely a message I’d love to pass on to any new yoga teachers out there who are just starting out.  Yes, there will be criticism and countless jobs given to other more experienced teachers instead of you.  That’s okay, just keep going.  My experience hustling for yoga jobs has taught me the valuable lesson of working hard for something even though I though it was pointless at the time.  I remember telling my friend at the time I just wanted so badly to tell these people I was auditioning for, “I can do it.  Please let me just fly.”

I’m flying now in this whole yoga deal.  It won’t last forever, I long to get a ‘normal’ 9 to 5 again, but I’m enjoying it for right now.  I’m able to be with my son instead of sending him to day care and that means so much to me.

Wishing all of you out there to find wings and the space to try them out in.

~Peace & Namaste.

Picture from that first gig ❤️

Published by Liz Brower

I've practiced yoga since 2006, I stumbled into a class at my local gym. I didn't really "get" yoga, I wanted to do all of the poses to the max, I didn't focus on breathing, and I was very competitive. A year later I quit smoking and my mom purchased a three month unlimited to a local studio. I fell in love with yoga! Plus the metaphor was strong, my lungs began to repair, I could take really deep inhales without coughing! I later began to go to a free outdoor yoga classes in downtown Long Beach, CA that was also affiliated with a donation based studio. Yoga was fun, affordable, accessible, and outside! I loved it. I started practicing at home by myself. I started meditating. Right after I found the classes at the gym stopped drinking alchohol. My sobriety and yoga have intertwined ever since. They compliment each other amazingly and I am so grateful for them both. I stopped practicing yoga after getting pregnant and being caught up with the taking care of a newborn in 2013/2014. When he was 9 months old I realized that I really wanted to redirect myself back to yoga. I also had the seed planted in my mind while driving home from Christmas break, why don't you go do a yoga teacher training?! I started practicing yoga at a local studio and began scouring the internet for a teacher training program. I found Three Sisters Yoga, a lovely program, based out of NY & PDX. I was more than motivated to teach, I started teaching some free yoga in the summer of 2015 at a local park. I continued after that with an internship at the same studio I had signed back up with at the beginning of the year. I quit my day job. I hit the pavement, scouring for yoga gigs that would hire a newbie. I found a job and began to teach! Now I am navigating the great balance of being a single mom, a yoga teacher, and doing my best to trust my higher power with my future. I love to teach and practice vinyasa, but also know what it's like to be drawn to slower types of yoga due to injury or body type. I feel a special affinity for yoga new comers and like to teach practice at all different levels. Thank you for taking time to read a little more about me and I wish all of you the best in your own individual yoga practice. ~Namaste!

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