I Waited Until Almost 40 To Start My Career As A Yoga Instructor

Most of us have probably heard the phrase “40 is the new 30.” Since I am rapidly reaching that milestone, I have now adopted this as my mantra. I even considered getting a t-shirt made with the phrase, but quickly changed my mind (since I don’t actually like to reveal that I am anywhere near that age).

But it wasn’t until I started pursuing yoga as a career that I realized my fears about aging were unwarranted.

Even though I’m told that I look years younger than my age (39), part of me was feeling a tiny bit old(er). I do my best to keep looking as youthful as possible. I exercise and eat a somewhat healthy diet, but nevertheless, doubts about my abilities have begun creeping into my mind. I have friends, who once they turned 40, started wearing glasses. “Eyesight starts diminishing after age 40” is another phrase I have heard more often than I’d like, especially since I currently have 20-20 vision.

But again has its benefits. Since time may be “running out,” I decided it was now or never to pursue my passion in yoga. I have practiced yoga on and off for over a decade. I had always wanted to participate in a yoga teacher-training program to deepen my practice, but I never thought I’d become a yoga teacher. I mean, I was too old, wasn’t I? Most of my yoga teachers began teaching in their twenties. I was nearly 10 years too late.

Despite these negative thoughts in my head, I decided to just start down the path I’d be interested in for so long. I could both be 40 and have this training under my belt or I could be 40 and still wondering what if.

So, I went for it. I found an amazing 300-hour summer intensive training program. I was shocked when I looked at my classmates. Only two were women in their 20s. The rest of us were nearing 40 or a few years passed 40. Who would have thought that would have been the case? I am graduating from my yoga training on September 18th. So far I have taught 4 adult classes and about 20 or so kids yoga classes. I also continue to take as many classes as I can, usually about 3-4 a week.  My teacher feels the best way to learn is by taking classes and practicing at home. I practice my lesson plan every day before I teach the class.

I’ve actually been shocked by how much I love teaching yoga. My program included teaching community classes, where I found my age to be an asset. Since I have been on a yoga mat so long, there was a bit more ease and confidence. As a freelance health and wellness writer, I have the luxury of creating my own schedule, so I was able to juggle my family responsibilities, yoga training and my other projects. One thing that was a shocker, though, was learning how little yoga teachers get paid. There is no way I could support a family on a yoga teacher’s salary. At least, not at first.

I’m still working on the income part, but I’m proud of myself for not letting my fears and doubts rule my life. When I turn 40 next June, I will only say one word: Fantastic!

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