I had no students for the first week I taught at the studio I rented, so I would teach myself a class. I felt the Masters supporting me, and their presence was so strong that I felt I was right where I needed to be.

I also felt I was being tested a little, as in, “Let’s see how dedicated you are, son”!!! People would stand at the door and watch but not come in.

Sometimes the fear of rejection can paralyze an honest effort. When no one came I felt like it was because I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t know enough. The truth is we can’t do it for anyone but ourselves. It is our discipline and love for Yoga that attracts students to our vibration. And actually, having the studio to myself was great to work on sequencing and time management.

Finally one woman came, and she’s come to every class since — she’s had relief in her right hip joint and is so excited. That’s when I knew I was doing what I should be doing: showing up for myself and in doing that, being present for my students as an example. We heard that in Ananda Yoga Teacher Training; now I see why.

Then others started to come as well. One woman remarked that she could feel my compassion and my dedication to Yoga as a lifestyle, and she appreciated that I wasn’t compromising what was true for me: the path of the great Masters as I understand it. She said that most teachers won’t talk about things like the astral spine, chakras, spiritual eye, etc., because they might lose students for religious reasons. I understand this, but I feel the need to be who I am.

At The Expanding Light, Savitri once said to me, “Swami Kriyananda told us to hold to our highest ideals, and that by doing so we’ll give people a chance to rise to the occasion and be the best they can be.” Now I understand.

Ananda Yoga Teacher Training graduate Mark Beach lives and teaches yoga on Kauai, Hawaii.

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