May, 2023

As a yoga instructor who has been teaching since I was 25, and who prefers a slow and gentle pace of movement, I have often been younger than many of the students in my classes. At times, I have been the youngest in the room by a couple of decades. In my early years of teaching, I certainly dealt with imposter syndrome, especially since I was guiding practices from a wisdom tradition thousands of years old. After my first yoga teacher training, I realized that I had just dipped my toes into the ocean of what yoga was, and it was intimidating. My early teachers were very encouraging, and pushed me to jump into teaching, to not wait until I felt like I had it all figured out or “knew enough.”  

I am grateful to the teachers that nudged me to listen to what felt like a personal calling and to dive into teaching. I have been both teacher and student simultaneously – feeling just slightly ahead on the path of yoga than the students I was guiding. I have tried to offer these teachings with as much humility as I can, being open to learning and continuing to deepen my practice along the way. Many times, I have been learning from my students as much as they have been learning from me. Really, it’s more like we are on the journey together. Each time we make it to the mat and share space (virtual or in the studio), we are practicing alongside each other.

In more recent years, I have tried to bring more awareness to the fact that I am teaching and learning something that is not of my culture – traditions and teachings birthed in India. For many of us white, western teachers, navigating this has taken thought, stillness, and acknowledgment of the complicated history of white bodied people taking culture, art, and spiritual traditions from black and brown bodied people and profiting from it. Many of us have spent the last few years listening and learning from South Asian teachers and doing our best to be humble and honoring of the roots of these practices and re-thinking our place within these traditions. There is not a clear answer of how to navigate this, but it’s important to think about as students and teachers of yoga. Awareness is certainly the first step.  

Now that I am nearing 50 (turning 48 later this summer), I am starting to feel like maybe, just maybe I have a little bit more wisdom, life experience, and depth of practice to share. We all have to start somewhere, right? Teaching anything that you are simultaneously a student of is a daunting task and also the surest way to learn something deeply. It helps to never let go of being a student. Hopefully as a teacher, I never feel like I have “arrived” and don’t need to learn anymore. If you come across a teacher (of anything) that acts like they know all the answers and are no longer learning new ways of looking at things, it may be best to turn around and walk out the door.  

We have some newer to Source teachers coming onto our teaching sub list, so you may have seen some new to you faces recently. I have a great group of newish yoga teachers that I have been meeting with in a small teaching mentor group over the last several months, and they are so eager and excited to be teaching. Thank you for being open, receptive, and encouraging of our new teachers! They are committed to continuing to study, practice and learn, developing confidence, learning the art of holding space for others, and offering you classes that are well rounded, thoughtful, and satisfying. I am so happy to be working directly with these dedicated teachers/students of yoga, and the heart and passion they bring to their learning process. I know they are also open to thoughtful and kind feedback that can help them grow. You are always welcome to pass reflections on to me to share with them from my role as their mentor.

I am grateful to the many Source Yoga community members who offered me grace and support in those early years of my teaching – I know these newer teachers will feel the same. 

This week, I am also grateful that the abundance of spring has really arrived! There were 2 trips I went on recently and was gone for just a few days, and each time I arrived home, I was amazed at how many more buds were opening on the trees, how fresh the vibrant new greens looked, how much more color exploded onto the scene in less than a week. WOW. We are so lucky to live in such a lush and beautiful place. 

I hope you are enjoying spring, and I hope to see you in the studio (or online!) soon.  

With care,  

Erin Joosse | she/her 

Source Yoga | studio director  

Upcoming opportunities to practice:

Yoga For Everyday People

Source Yoga is a place to simply be, accept ourselves as we are in this moment, and connect with our innate wisdom.

Through the cultivation of present moment awareness through yoga and mindfulness practices, we discover and nurture our inner resources for self-care, ease, peace of mind, and compassion.

We welcome students of all ages and abilities. Join our warm, welcoming community in a supportive and non-intimidating environment.