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The Heart is Nomadic

As your desire is, so is your will.

As your will is, so is your deed.

As you deed is, so is your destiny.

~The Upanishads

 

A Broken System

About 3 weeks ago I went to two different public school interviews. I last taught in public schools two years ago, but upon completing my Master’s Degree in literacy education, I figured I owed it to myself to at least TRY to go back.
Both interviews were for English as a Second Language positions in North Carolina, a state plagued with a reputation for being ranked 48th in education on a national average. I left both interviews more depressed and lost than I’ve felt in a long while. As I sat at those conference tables and was asked the exact same questions verbatim in both interviews I thought: I don’t belong here, I don’t want this job, I’m never going back. Each question was so generic, so scripted, and lacked any real fire or room for growth, expansion, or facilitation of a holistic experience in the education system.

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Intentions and Goals: To Fuel Your Soul

Rewind about 6 months to this spring. My friend Michelle and I are sitting on the floor with poster boards, old magazines, glue, and tea. We had discussed getting together to make vision boards for several weeks and had taken time to get extremely specific about our goals and desires. I have to admit, I was embarrassed about my desires. Some of what I wanted seemed too lofty, some too stereotypical, and some (gasp) even too traditional. But we spent the better part of several hours cutting and pasting like dutiful middle school children unaware that our desires, once planted firmly on poster board for all to see, were quickly beginning to weave themselves into our future plans.

 

Getting Truthful

I am always looking, searching, and dreaming. More than once a month I look at International teaching boards, Yoga jobs available on Yoga Trade, Indeed.com, LinkedIn, the list goes on. A major part of my vision board or desire map is that my life’s work be infused with passion. I am not the sort of person who is fulfilled by a traditional role. I am constantly searching for how I can make a difference, become involved with international education, and support myself while doing so. I’ve expended quite a bit of energy and filled the ears of many friends with my desire to combine my two loves: International ESL education and yoga. I’ve expressed this over and over again. Truthfully, the vision I had for myself was earning an a part time position at the local university ideally in the international education department and to be able to still continue to teach yoga on a weekly basis. But, the universe had other plans for me.

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The Core of Desire

When I read the job posting by an organization called Peace Through Yoga looking for an ESL instructor in Costa Rica, I paused. This sounded just like me. As it turns out, it sounded just like me to my future employers too. They were kind enough to put off two other candidates, to speak with me. Not only did they answer my questions but they met (via Skype) my boyfriend, my dog, and my expectations. With only 48 hours to make the decision, my boyfriend Ryan and I poured over all the options; what happens if we go, what happens if we don’t, and ultimately kept coming back to the same place? All our conversation, all our calculations, and all our internal guides were telling us to go! So, a few hours later we found ourselves eating dinner, signing the contract, and planning on moving our lives, our work, and our dogs to Hone Creek, Costa Rica!

Stay tuned for Part II…

 

 

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Meghan is a traveling yoga instructor and water woman. She has been wandering and teaching for over a decade. She is currently the lead teacher at Chicas Poderosas a girls’ empowerment school run by Peace Through Yoga in Hone Creek, Costa Rica.

@yogaroam

What it’s Really Like Being a Traveling Yoga Teacher

This article is shared by Adi Zarsadias from Love the Search

Many of us have found solace through our own personal yoga practice. We cannot imagine early mornings without meditating and practicing our asanas. Yoga has helped us reevaluate how we nourish ourselves. It has enabled us to control the thoughts that we have in our minds to create our own reality. It has saved our lives.

Those who are passionate enough about it want to share their yoga practice with the world. We believe that every soul will benefit from this ancient tradition. With a tiny tinge of wanderlust in our veins, we leave our comfortable lives and fly off into the great unknown. After all, who hasn’t dreamt of teaching in idyllic tropical destinations? Does the glamour of traveling as a teacher live up to the reality?

What’s it really like to be a traveling yoga teacher?

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You will learn to live out of a suitcase

You have no room for anything else other than the essentials: some yoga gear, two pairs of bikinis, travel sized toiletries, a book or journal and of course, your millimeter-thin travel yoga mat. You will stop the mindless habit of buying unnecessary things. There’s not much space for buying souvenirs from every country you visit, so you’ll settle with cheap little trinkets to remember places that have been memorable to your spiritual growth.

 

You will stop obsessing about the salary

It’s no surprise that yoga will pay less than your old corporate position, but the job satisfaction is incomparable. Once you start life on the road, you will accept whatever salary or donations come your way and learn to live with it. There is no turning back, and you wont want to anyway. I once had a job offer from a popular travel company in Melbourne, Australia to work as a travel writer. The hourly pay was equivalent to a day’s work in Asia. But I simply had to decline as it was an office job and I was too focused on strengthening my yoga teaching skills at that time.

 

You wont think of it as a job

Bringing your students into a deep state of Savasana might just be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. When you see firsthand the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that yoga brings to your students, you’ll start feeling invaluable. Finally, you’re getting paid to do something that actually helps people and make them feel good about themselves! When I tell people I teach yoga, they want to try it out for themselves and ask me for a class. Even though they are willing to pay, I always prefer that they buy me a meal instead. I find that energy exchange and spending quality time with people is so much more rewarding than monetary gain.

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It will expand your world

You’ll teach one, maybe two classes a day, then you’ll have the rest of the day to do whatever you want! The whole world is your playground. You will have so much time to pursue your other passions, learn the local language or explore that whole new world around you. You will meet and attract the most interesting people too! Each one of us is only limited by our energy and imagination.

 

You will get creative

Being in a constant fulfilled state of bliss, combined with lots of time in our hands definitely brings out our creative juices. You might find yourself writing, drawing, taking photographs or engaging in new art forms that never even interested you before. Tune into these energies and just let yourself go with the flow. You’ll be surprised at what you can create out of limited resources.

 

There will be a lot of distractions

Because your students love you, you will get invited to every lunch date, dinner party and weekend workshop. Your itinerary will be filled from morning ‘till nighttime. Learn to conserve your precious energy. Don’t feel pressured to say yes to everything. Keep yourself healthy and make sure you don’t lose time for personal practice!

 

So are you ready to take your yoga mat on the road? Here are some tips to get you started:

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Write a yoga resume – Mention your educational background briefly but focus on your yoga credentials and what kind of yoga you are passionate about. Include relevant skills such as Reiki, massage, bodywork or acupuncture for instance. List down workshops and retreats that you have participated in or helped organize. Add at least 3 personal references that are able to reply immediately if they are contacted.

Create a yoga blog – Our yoga journey is such an interesting process. Sharing our story with others will leave people wanting to get to know us more as a person. Add some links to teachers, books or documentaries that have changed your perspective. Post your schedule so people know where to find you. Go crazy with photos of yourself striking poses around the world. Show off that Sirsasana!

Give out calling cards – It might be old school, but it works! Listing down your social media outlets will make it easier for others to contact you or get updates on your schedule. You never know when it’ll come in handy.

Get yourself out there – Let people know that you want to travel the world teaching yoga! Register with Yoga Trade or Workaway to find opportunities abroad. Volunteering work usually requires one month commitment, while paid yoga jobs require six months to a year contract. And most importantly…

Expand your network – Yoga teachers always help other yoga teachers find new opportunities. There are so many styles and variations of yoga nowadays. We do not have to compete with each other as there is room for everyone to succeed.

 

 

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Adi Zarsadias is a yoga teacher & writer with extreme wanderlust. She is the creator of Love the Search.

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