I never planned to be a yoga teacher.
I never actively pursued it as something that I thought was meant to be part of my life journey.
Even as I found myself on the other side of the world knee deep in a Yoga Teacher Training, my intention for being there didn’t come from a place of wanting to teach other people yoga.
Yet here I find myself nearly 4 years into a yoga teaching career. As I reflect on the choices I made that have led me to this very point in life it seems all too apparent that my spirit has been subtlety coaxing me and my analytical mind in the right direction all along.
I made so many choices based off gut instinct and inklings, without much logic or planning for the fruit that would bear in my life from these guttural suspicions. As my future plays into the present and becomes my past, I scan through the sequence of life happenings, and I notice with each dying moment it’s as if I have been slowly slipping into an outfit that was very much made for me.
What does this outfit look like?
First I’ll tell you what I have cycled through and tried on, to eventually peal back off (it’s important to start somewhere.)
I started in aprons of various lengths, black slacks, lots of denim, button down shirts, make-up, neck ties, performance shoes, pumps, and wine openers.
As life unfolds before me, I have begun this nerve racking process of allowing my spirit to speak. In this process I have allowed what doesn’t suit me to fall away, and so the outfit I present to the world has changed enormously.
I have two career paths that have interwoven each other. I wear shoes for neither. I am a barefoot babe and I love it! My life has come to a place where how I present myself to the world is my choice at all times, entering every arena with comfort and functionality are the foundations for all my decisions.
How I got this far seemingly without consciously discerning from a young age that it is where I am supposed to be is humbling. The mysteries of the universe are strong.
I sought out yoga initially for my own better understanding of the body in relation to movement. With a one way ticket to Thailand in hand I set off for a yoga training that I had chosen based off a very well made internet website. After the first several days of a 26 day intensive training I felt like I got cat fished by what the website promoted the experience to be and what it wound up being. I felt short changed. It didn’t live up to a single expectation. In fact, about 11 days in with frustration I questioned if I even liked yoga at all.
Due to the fact that I flew to the other side of the world and invested three thousand of my hard earned dollars I stuck through the whole training and Nov 2015 I became yoga trained and certified. From a place of sheer traditional anarchy I was compelled to start sharing feel good movement that was inclusive to most peoples abilities. (A heavy contrast from the training I did.)
Over the next few years I taught once a week, when people would ask me something as simple as, “what style of yoga do you teach?” I felt jumbled, I didn’t have an answer. I taught a little from this and a little from that, but no real traditional structure involved. It felt unprofessional to have no words to describe my style. I didn’t fit into a genre. Which is bizarrely fitting because I have felt from a young age that I am a misfit in many ways.
I have taken hundreds of classes all over the world, and every class is more than a self practice, it’s an educational opportunity to study someone else and their methods, flows, ways, and descriptions. I practice with a journal within arms reach at all times so I can retain the yeses and nos that I feel about each experience, carrying with me the parts that resonate and leaving behind the things that do not.
As I have expanded the past few years my mentality has very much been. “Look, I don’t know what I teach, but I know that people like it.”
The few times I have been asked to teach a certain format, or if I attempted to script a class down to each pose in certain orders from start to finish my heart raced and my soul felt like a fish out of water. I felt robotic, stiff, and unnatural. If there is one thing I know it is that energy is transferable; I would rather not teach at all, if teaching meant I was sharing any kind of dis-ease with the masses.
And so, confidently, I have slid required formats and scripts back across the table to several studio owners. Thank you for the opportunity, but no thank you. I did not start sharing movement to share another persons authenticity, I have started sharing movement to share my own raw creation.
My original dive into yoga came from a place of self-study and a superficial desire to be bendy. It expanded into a practice I share with others, and evolved into a movement that deeply resonates with me; a path that I now have future goals, visions, dreams, and aspirations around.
The word method came to me a lot this winter and spring. In the context of, it is important for movement teachings have a certain anatomical method, while each class is absolutely unique, there is still a process, a order, a rhythm one should follow.
The more heavily I stepped into the teaching roll, the more heavy on my heart it weighed that I need to be able to communicate with people what kind of yoga I teach.
Very recently it all clicked.
What do you teach Karissa?
I teach a practice called Moving D E E P: a non-traditional primal movement class with yogic foundations that encourages a sensual connection between breath, body, and spirit.
We spend enough time of our lives in states of disconnect, criticism, and negativity.
It is my souls desire to light a love-fire inside of you, your sister, your brother, and your grandma. In any given practice I guide I have just that- men and women of all ages ranging from 9 to 76.
Now I dream about the days I share movement with hundreds of people.
The days I collaborate with a live DJ.
The days where once a month I choose somewhere in the world, hosting mindfulness flash mobs and when I open my eyes there are dozens of people dropping into their hearts, breath, spirits and bodies with me.
The days MOVING D E E P is a main stage experience at my favorite festivals.
The days I curate retreats and getaways to facilitate balance and health in people around me.
In my reflections I find it so fascinating that it wasn’t until I was years deep in teaching that I recognized the path I am on was meant for me, and it’s is so exciting to now be in a space where I am casting visions for the evolution of the practice I share.
Have you experienced Moving D E E P yet??
Please link over to my professional instagram: Being_yourbestself to get plugged into all the transformational experiences I will be hosting this summer in the Sacramento area.
Peace and Looooove.