“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
I used to roll my eyes whenever I read this quote. Really? How could I ever love a job? I’ve worked in a number of different service jobs, as both a bartender and a server. I’ve worked in skincare. I’ve worked in marketing and social media. I’ve worked in the tech industry. I’ve worked in an office. I’ve worked in real estate. All of these jobs were important and served a purpose for those being served, but I’ve never worked at a job where I got the chance to make a real, positive difference in someone else’s life. Then I started teaching yoga.
Teaching yoga is challenging and fulfilling, much like a regular yoga practice. You get back what you put into it. I put my heart and soul into the classes I teach through practicing cueing and sequencing, crafting fun playlists, getting to know my students beyond their first name, giving my students a chance to know me through my personal shares after class, having conversations with students at the front desk and always being mentally present for my students in every class.
My students inspire and motivate me in ways they may never know and understand. So when they are kind enough to share with me how I’ve motivated them, well it kind of rocks my world in the biggest way.
One of my students and I instantly bonded over our love for Michael Jackson when I put together a Michael vs Janet playlist for my Hot Power Fusion classes a few months ago. Then we started taking about hiking before and after classes. As I shared more about my hiking adventures and training for the PCT, she shared with me that she wanted to start walking, even just around her neighborhood. I encouraged her to do it. I thought this was amazing and a perfect place for her to start. I shared with her how walking around my old neighborhood was exactly how I caught the hiking bug. One long walk around the block led to two, to three and then before I knew it, I was heading out to the trails on the weekends. I’ve had the chance to hike all over the PNW for the last couple of summers and now have some big hikes under my belt like Half Dome at Yosemite and now the Grand Canyon twice – once Rim to Rim and recently Rim to Rim to Rim.
Just last night, I received this amazing letter and wonderful gift from my student – the soundtrack to the Cirque Du Soleil show, Michael Jackson Immortal, a show she insists I see the next time I visit Vegas. I’m so taking her advice!
Teaching yoga not only gives me a paycheck, but it gives me incredible life purpose. I never saw that benefit coming while I was in teacher training! I love how I can express my true authentic self, share my love for yoga (and hiking) with my students and get to inspire and be inspired by the students who take my classes. I’m so happy to have found this passion of mine and am lucky and honored to call it my profession.
High fives to all of my amazing students who take my classes. I wouldn’t be able to do this crazy, cool job without you!
Kathleen – you’re an inspiration for a lot of us. This evening you taught about “Satya” being honest with yourself. Thank you!
We will go hiking before you leave but maybe only 10 miles… I will miss you for 5 months!
Thank you Lilian! It was such a pleasure to have you in class last night. So good to see you again. I look forward to our hike!! 🙂