Teachers have continuously inspired my life. My parents were my first great teachers. Although she lost her battle with breast cancer in 1990, my mother’s influence continues to be felt in the hearts many. In her last journal entry she expressed the importance of practicing compassion and leading with love. This has remained an important lesson throughout my entire life. Another important lesson growing up came from my father. He has always had a passion for living life to its fullest and learning as much as possible. I have been blessed with the presence of many great teachers along the way who have continued to instill within me the insatiable passion for life and learning and have shown me the importance of practicing compassion to others and with myself.
Annie Richardson has become one of my greatest teachers on my yoga journey thus far; she taught the first yoga class that I attended. I continue to attend her class and recommend it to anyone and everyone who will listen—and even some who won’t. Annie radiates compassion and humor. She reminds us often of the importance of loving-kindness both with others and ourselves–“on and off the mat”. She encourages us to practice spontaneous downward facing dog poses at the grocery store, or anywhere in public for that matter. Her classes are also laced with comprehensive knowledge of the history, philosophy and practice of yoga. Her compassionate disposition paired with the extensive knowledge that she shares with her students makes her an outstanding teacher. She is the inspiration for the kind of yoga teacher I hope to become.
I want to teach yoga because it is authentic to who I am. “Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently” (Lance Secretan). Yoga has taught me alignment not only physically but also mentally and spiritually. I feel at “home” when I practice yoga. I love the idea of perpetually deepening my practice as a student of yoga while simultaneously growing as a teacher. I want to teach yoga because the benefits of yoga are limitless. I want to teach the benefits of the alignment of mind, body and spirit as well as inspire my students to deepen their own personal practices. After gaining necessary yoga training, I would love to open a non-profit yoga studio in order to make yoga more accessible financially to those who cannot afford regular studio fees.
I would like to deepen my personal practice by beginning my 200-hour teacher training under Rachel Hull and the Shakti Spirit Yoga program offered in September of 2012. Originally I was looking to travel and study yoga somewhere in Southeast Asia—I chose this particular school in Indonesia because I was inspired by Rachel Hull, one of the main teachers at SSY. Rachel and I seem to share a passion for learning and holistic health. She has studied Ayurveda, Massage Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture and other alternative therapies. That alone has inspired me to want to learn more from her. She has extensive experience in training yoga teachers and I believe that she could become one of my great teachers.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “My life is my message”. How you decide to live and what you decide to teach is your own personal message to the world. The great thing about teaching is the opportunity to pass along the wisdom of the teachers before you. One of the most important things you can do in life is to continue sharing the knowledge that has been shared with you.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Mary Gavin
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