One thing that has been such a pleasant surprise to me while I’ve been teaching is that my personal yoga practice has grown so much. When I first started teaching I had a very limited pranayama and meditation practice, in fact I hadn’t even started meditating at all. I had come to terms with the fact that my personal practice would have to suffer somewhat because I wouldn’t have the same amount of time to devote to my practice while juggling my full-time job and my teaching. At first it did suffer a bit because I had become very dependent on attending classes, I wasn’t ready to cultivate a home practice quite yet. The more I taught the more I learned about peoples’ bodies and how they function, it was so different than mine. I observed how many people were not content with their jobs, just as I was, and I really saw how that translated through to their bodies. This was the very first thing that began to take me deeper into my practice, I wasn’t quite at the stage where I was ready to leave my job, but I knew I had to do something to make me a little less angry and anxious, so I looked into pranayama practices. Whenever I found myself getting extremely frustrated or angry, I used what I had learned and found that it helped a lot. I began to work on breathing practices daily, even when I wasn’t angry, it wasn’t necessarily traditional pranayamas, but I was definitely practicing my breath. Eventually I left my job and turned to meditation all around the same time. It really helped me heal from everything that had happened when I left my frustrating job and I was able to let go of a lot of the anger. Then when I had more time to really focus on my teaching, I would experiment with flows and practices that would work well for students and as I practiced these sequences, I found myself building a personal home practice. I’ve grown so much in my practice and have changed so many perspectives I had before I started teaching and this is one of the many reasons that I LOVE teaching!