Last year in June I had one of my biggest dreams come true, the dream of teaching yoga abroad. It always seemed like something out of reach, like one day when I became a seasoned teacher with tons of experience I would land a job like that. Nonetheless, one day I decided to Google my dream job just to see what would happen. I typed in “yoga teaching jobs abroad” in the search bar, and voila, I found myself browsing on yogatraveljobs.com. I immediately felt a wave of excitement run through me as I scrolled through the posts from all over the world in search of yoga teachers. I couldn’t believe that having that a dream like this could come true so early in my yoga career, but what started with just a few keystrokes ended up changing my life.
I found a post for a yoga teaching and photography job at a surf school in Portugal. I was ecstatic! I immediately applied to the position, having first crafted a very nice resume and cover letter expressing my relevant skills and experience. Two days later I was contacted about the job and my availability. I couldn’t believe how quickly everything was happening. I was in awe. Truth be told, I hadn’t yet obtained my yoga teacher training certification, I was only halfway through it. I felt nervous, excited, anxious and completely shocked. I applied not really thinking I would get the job but just putting myself out there. It all sounded so good but the possibility of it becoming a reality daunted me. Was I really ready to do this without having much experience as a yoga teacher?
I decided that I was. I accepted the position, purchased my ticket, made arrangements with my living situation and three weeks later I was off to Portugal. Only five short days after I graduated from my yoga teacher training… I know, crazy right?
I share this with you so you know that you don’t have to be at a certain “level” to start reaching for your dreams. If you are interested and want something then go for it, without hesitation. Obviously, if I had no proper training and/or knowledge of yoga to safely and skillfully lead a class then I wouldn’t have applied. But my point is that you learn as you teach and begin to walk the path. We can never know everything there is to know on a subject, we can simply attempt to learn as much as we can and we learn best by teaching others.
I must admit, however, that I had moments of self-doubt and apprehension. Even though I had started teaching classes in my neighborhood and to my friends, it could have been easy to say that I wasn’t ready. In the end, I decided that instead of focusing on the negative, what could go wrong, what if I wasn’t good enough, etc. I would focus on the good, how great and thorough my yoga teacher training was, how I would be taking a tremendous leap of faith and building my experience as a teacher in an amazing way. I began to get more comfortable with the idea and made a vow to believe in myself.
I arrived in Portugal and fell in love with the small surf town of Sagres. It was quaint, filled with beautiful Portuguese architecture and spirit of surf culture all its own. People from all over the world came to “the End of the World” as they call it, the southwestern most point of all of Europe. With west and south facing beaches there was always a wave to surf and a beach to do yoga on. I taught on an incredibly beautiful deck overlooking a stunning view of the ocean. I taught small groups, no larger than 8 people, which really helped me feel comfortable in my teaching. It was the most beautiful place I’ve ever taught to this day and I felt so happy, honored and privileged to be able to teach on that deck every morning. I was proud of myself for having the strength and courage to take a leap of faith, in life and in myself.
My teaching skills grew as I adapted to my students needs and I got so much great feedback from my students that it really reassured my abilities. I met people from all over the world and made friendships that lasted far beyond that summer. It was a priceless time in my life that taught me so many things, but above all, it taught me the power of believing in yourself and going for your dreams. In reality, it may only be a few keystrokes away…
Peace, Love and Namaste!