This article appeared in the online Her Umbrella Magazine and in print in the Australian Yoga Life magazine Issue 61, Dec 2018.
Have you ever considered becoming a yoga teacher? I didn’t.
Hi, my name is Tamar Boas. I am the founder of the 2019 Bundaberg Yoga Festival.
For most of my life, I defined myself as non-sporty, non-competitive, not fit. I always enjoyed bush-walking and being outdoors, but once I realized that I was never going to be good enough for any kind of race or sport, I decided that I was not the type. In the past 20 years, I went to yoga classes on and off. Like many of my students today, I could only see the poses I was unable to do. I could not sit in Lotus (Padmasana), I could not touch my heels to the floor in Down Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) and I hated any kind of forward bending. I felt stiff and I couldn’t trust my body.
Then one day I chose to change it. My girlfriend from high school has taken to surfing in her forties and her amazing success story got me inspired. It started with daily walks that made me feel better about my body. Then a new yoga teacher showed up in my life. We started practising the Ashtanga Yoga Primary Series once a week. Ashtanga was the first style of yoga that I ever practised. It was a long time ago when I returned home to Israel after backpacking through India and Australia in the 90’s. The regimented sequence was hard work in my twenties and it was surprisingly rewarding now. My body seemed to recall the practice and started changing very quickly. A few months later, when my teacher mentioned yoga teacher training, my world changed. It sounded like the most natural thing to do. There was a demand in my region for more yoga classes and I could be the one to deliver. I already had a natural medicine business and only needed the certification. I started researching yoga schools. My mind kept bringing up objections and problems: It is too expensive, it takes too long, I am too old, I will get hurt, it is too selfish, and many more negative points of view. Whenever I thought about teacher training, my body lit up and my mind said “No”. I chose to listen to my body. It was time to redefine myself. During the last month before teacher training I ramped up my yoga practice to three times a week. I prepared a homeopathic remedy kit to take with me. I went for a massage once a week.
Teacher training was absolutely intense in every imaginable way. My body loved it and stayed strong throughout. I met amazing people and was able to completely immerse myself in yoga for three long weeks. My mind slowly bent and accepted the changes. It felt right. Then it was over and it was time to walk the talk.
I started teaching a week after finishing teacher training and never looked back. I love teaching yoga and my body thanks me every single day. I still can’t sit in Lotus (Padmasana) yet I can trust my body. The more I practice, the easier it is to move and enjoy life. Most of my students are first timers at yoga. I can relate to them as they struggle with Down Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Savanasana) or with touching their toes. They appreciate my stories of how I hated Warrior two (Virabhadrasana II) and laugh when I fall out of Boat (Navasana) with them. Every time a student is able to move beyond an obstacle, it is a celebration. Every time my students smile in bliss after relaxation, it feels like a big group hug. Teaching yoga gives me an excuse to do more yoga, to connect with my body and to get out of my head. It also connects me with new people and is a contribution to my community.
What are YOU refusing to be? What is it that you have never considered before, that if you chose it, will change everything?