“…The Teacher Will Come.” by Mar

Back at the end of December, I pressed the “Publish” button on our blog site to share my story, “When The Student Is Ready”. The quote, “When The Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Come” has been meaningful to me for many years. I first heard it when I worked for an art college as an admissions adviser. I often used those words to remind the student that he or she was enrolling in the right school. Later, as I was more in the teacher mode of my career, I thought these words when students would come to me for advice. After that, when I was a college cross country coach, I was often reminded of those words as well. Even when I left my career job many years later to be a stay-at-home mom (who doesn’t stay inside much!) and then taught studio fitness classes for The Dailey Method, these words still echoed in my head.

After writing “When The Student Is Ready” (which now I see as only Part 1 of the entire story), it actually took me several weeks of holding onto it before I could share it. If I didn’t touch that button, maybe the pain of leaving a teaching job and clients I loved never happened. Though I censored a few words, I finally chose to share my story because it was real. It was my fault that I had stayed too long. I needed to let go of that unwholesome part of my life by becoming a student again.

I went on a fitness journey, trying many different workouts and studios. I learned that there was so much out there that I hadn’t observed. I became the “student” again. Though I hope to be a runner for my whole life, I found the exercise that most fit me was yoga. I had done lots of yoga back when I was in my 20’s. I have to admit, I thought of it more as a stretching workout rather than a practice. Being a more competitive type athlete and into cardio, weights, and adrenaline, I was a little impatient in the mind and spiritual connection. As I would lie in final savasana pose, I would think about what I was going to do after that. When the class finished with an OM, I didn’t usually participate. Fast forward me to a busy mom in my mid-forties. I live for the final resting pose in my yoga practice, joyfully sing the words OM, and whole-heartedly believe the meaning of NAMASTE. Yoga has become my teacher.

So here it is: Part 2, “…The Teacher Will Come.” The very morning after I decided to share my story, I was scheduled to meet a friend for a yoga class. I was a few minutes late and the class was completely full. My fault. I had always wanted to check out a studio closer to my home called Thrive, and they had a class I could easily make that day. When I walked into Thrive, I met a teacher named Jeannine Clinton Bush of Essencia Yoga. She came out to greet me, and we talked as I filled out my waiver. After our 10 minute conversation, I felt like I had known her my whole life. I took her class and moved into yoga poses I had never been able to achieve. Through her cuing, I was in crow pose and a full back bend. After a long practice of holding positions and Jeannine talking to us about “change, intentions, love, and courage”, she covered us with blankets and led us into a savasana meditation. I knew I would someday teach this, too.

Before, I left the class, I learned that some of the other yogis in the room were Jeannine’s students and that she was certified through Yoga Alliance to train yoga instructors. After class, we talked and made plans for her to become my Teacher. This Student (me) and my Teacher (Jeannine) was right there. I was ready.

I started training with Jeannine about a month ago. The teacher certification process for becoming a yoga instructor is rigorous, challenging, and time consuming. It is also thrilling, beautiful, kind, and holistic. There is no judgment, criticism, or stress. There is peace. My teacher is strong, humble, honest, and generous.

One of my dearest friends and favorite people in the world is Marianne Torres. Some of you may know her. Five years ago we trained together and became teachers at The Dailey Method. She had moved out of town for a year and when she returned in January, we took a couple yoga classes together in Naperville. I introduced her to Jeannine and now Marianne, who has a beautiful practice and a mindful spirit, has joined our training group. When we meet, we do long yoga practices, often lasting for hours. Marianne and I take walks outside on our “lunch break”, drink green smoothies, and dissect our lessons. We are students. We are teachers.

My personal yoga practice has increased to about 5 times each week, along with daily meditation. Our meetings with Jeannine are once or twice a week and we rotate weekends with a group of woman who are on various journeys but with the common goal of sharing yoga with others.

As a student again, I have become more aware of the lessons I have in my life. I have my many teachers: not only Jeannine and yoga, but the world, my friends, my children, my church, my home, my heart, myself, and even my KITCHEN are my teachers. Even the teachings of the unhealthy, sad, or hurtful lessons are there for me.

So WHY am I sharing all this with you? Firstly, it is Part 2 of my story. More importantly, it is to remind you that YOU are both the teacher and the student. You have the opportunity to find health and share it with others. Sometimes the greatest teachers are the ones you overlook. They may be the little children who are tugging on your leg right now. How you accept this teacher in yourself and also become that mentor will change the world.

When we choose mindfulness and take responsibility for our own happiness, we become our healthiest. We are able to find the teachers and the students who are there just waiting for us to be ready.

Two weeks before my training started, a former, fellow Dailey Method instructor and I happened to meet in a coffee shop. We exchanged hugs and updated each other on our lives. When I told her I was going to become a yoga instructor, she kind of laughed and said, “No offense, but aren’t you a little tight in your hamstrings? How can you teach yoga?” I laughed back and said, “This is exactly why I will become a yoga instructor.”

“When The Student Is Ready, The Teacher Will Come.”

One Comment

  1. Gayathri
    March 6, 2013

    Mary Ellen you are gonna become one of the calm and respected yoga teacher soon . This journey is gonna be a meaningful one for you and people around. Good luck


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