“Somebody said, very rightly, that the purpose of life is to help others through it.”
I stumbled across this quote by Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard, while pondering why I teach yoga. As life progresses, one would often benefit from stepping out of routine, to think, to notice, to ‘clean house,’ and to decide what is next. I recently did this and made some major changes to my teaching schedule and locations. The only thing that remained the same is my connection to World Peace Yoga. There I teach classes, mentor new teachers, work to make anatomy more accessible, and assist with personal spiritual growth and yoga teacher training. But so what? I can do that anywhere, right? So what is it that keeps me glued to this place? It’s not the place at all, but the commUNITY I have found there and come to love.
After teaching over 11 years, I have learned to stay away from those experiences that feel like an island. You meet the team of teachers, you enter into a schedule of teaching, and you never see each other again. And although you are surrounded by students, you are alone in your role, often times looking for inspiration and shared ideas to keep you going. These days, you can dive into the on-line sources, but there is no replacement for the real deal. Let me share what I mean…
- we share healthy, creative meals together like a family
- we welcome each other into our homes to share a bigger picture of ourselves
- we have time to share joys and struggles concerning our classes and teachings
- we have a voice and responsibility for the prosperity of our studio
- we are free to suggest and support new ideas
- we invest in each other’s families, children, animals (see above!)
- we attend each other’s workshops, classes, and off the mat, concerts and even weddings
- we are there through the tears, the laughter, and the fears that life surfaces
- we are a foundation for each other
Ultimately, our practice off the mat that builds our World Peace Yoga teacher community spreads out to our students in service and as an invitation to become an equal soul in this community. Our teachers are our students, and our students are our teachers as we create unity and an all-inclusive family. What we receive from each other cannot be contained, but passed on to each individual that enters the studio.
It is not perfect, but it is authentic and real and consistent…our commUNITY! I haven’t found it elsewhere in all my years of teaching, so I think I will stay to see what is next!
Thank you World Peace Yoga commUNITY, for being my inspiration and yoga family.
Mary Geibel was first exposed to yoga at a very young age, as she peaked in on her mother filling a blanket with beautiful poses and a calming breath. That seed, planted in a single glimpse, grew into a gift that has given her a huge sense of Self. She wrote this blog piece when preparing to teach a chakra themed yoga class. In addition to teaching yoga classes, Mary enjoys teaching the anatomy portion of the World Peace Yoga Teacher Training course. For more information on this program, click here.