March 6, 2016

A Letter to My Yoga Students.

Used with permission via Cecille Photography

My Dearest Yoga Students,

I am here to teach you how to recognize your own needs. How to receive love and how to heal yourself. I am here to teach you techniques for opening up your channel of energy and how to properly maintain that channel. None of this may make any sense to you right now. That is totally fine.

Being a yoga teacher does not make me an expert on life and all things spiritual. I can only authentically share what I have learned from my own experience. Do not put me on a pedestal or convince yourself that I have super human powers. Whatever wisdom I may or may not possess, you have as well. We are all perfectly imperfect beings on an endless path of self-healing and growth. I am always working on myself, just as you will be.

It’s your job to put these techniques into practice in a way that fits with your daily life. I can instruct and inspire, but you must do the work.

The days you feel like skipping your spiritual practice are the days you need it the most. Thirty minutes per day is sufficient, unless you are super busy, in which case I recommend an hour. After many years or lifetimes, your practice will be in each breath, every single moment of the day. Don’t worry—I’m a long way off from that too! We all have to begin somewhere.

There are bountiful rewards to a thriving spiritual practice, but you will not taste the fruits of your efforts if you quit too early or take on more than you can handle. It is better to do less, but do it with vigor and consistency.

Re-wiring your habits and behavior will be difficult, but don’t forget to relish the incredible moments of pure, unimaginable bliss that you will experience! They will sustain you during the challenging periods and motivate you to continue. Know that the blissful moments will exponentially grow over time.

Despite my human flaws and failings, my greatest commitment to you is this: I personally follow everything I teach, and I know that it brings me greater joy and love. Trust in that. I only share and teach what I have experienced, and you will hear what you need to based upon what resonates the loudest in that particular moment.

As you change your vibration over time, you will internalize other, deeper areas of the yogic teachings. The practice will remain the same as always, but you will perceive it differently. It will constantly evolve and take on fresh new meanings, coaxing you into expanded levels of awareness.

Perhaps one day you will be inspired to become a teacher as well. Some of you already are. Some of you may not feel worthy enough to take on that role. You may think, “Who am I to teach others?” Know that if you practice what you preach, you possess everything you need to be an excellent teacher. By authentically sharing your own growth experience, you are helping others on the path.

The overarching message is this: You can heal yourself. You never have to be dependent on anyone else for healing. But you must be open and willing to do the deep internal work it requires and practice what you’ve learned.

You must do the breathwork; you must do the meditation; you must do the mindfulness; you must ask for help when you need it; you must live in accordance to your highest truth; you must practice forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others, and you must do the physical poses. You must do any one or all of these things in whatever form and combination is best for you. They all work together in a beautifully synergistic manner.

At various points in your life, certain techniques will fall to the back burner and others will gain greater prominence. All of that is well and good, but you must do your spiritual practice consistently and trust in your own knowing. The benefits will be far greater than anything you can fathom at this moment.

Stay committed, know that I love you and be true to your own heart.


With humbleness and respect,

Your “Yoga Teacher”
…or, more accurately, “The Human Reflection of Your Own Inner Teacher”


Author: Janice Pappas

Apprentice Editor: Julie Barr; Editor: Emily Bartran

Image: Used with permission via Cecille Photography

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