When I got home from Ananda Yoga Teacher Training, I called up a community center to see if I could get in as a teacher in next September’s schedule.

The woman who answered said that they were full, but she still asked me for my résumé.

I knew right then that my name, phone number, and certificate weren’t going to get me in the door! I needed to “practice.”

I remember being advised by one of the Ananda Yoga Teacher Training teachers to start teaching right away, even if it was to your cat. Well, I don’t have a cat, so I started with my dog, Dudley. He just looked at me much too adoringly to be taken seriously. He did a great downward-facing dog, but his other limitations were more than I could work with.

Luckily, the weather was quite dry and beautiful. Being desperate and resourceful, I put out a big blue plastic tarp — 20 feet by 30 feet — and started teaching on Saturday mornings in my front yard. (We live on a third of an acre on a dead end street. It’s quite rural, even though we are just minutes from the city of Vancouver.)

The clear blue sky provided a heavenly ceiling, a forest of trees on one side provided the energizing prana, and the sweetly singing birds in the trees provided the back ground music. I’m blessed — what can I say?

And people started coming! My youngest pupil was 14, and my eldest was 65. I was delighted when, on one morning, I had three 14-year-olds attend, and they really liked it!

I gave out my business card to everyone I would meet who was even remotely interested in yoga. I collected e-mail addresses and notified everyone by Wednesday of my Saturday classes. So that is how I gained experience, confidence, and a small, enthusiastic following.

Now I am teaching an 8-week course on Monday nights at a yoga studio that I have been attending for the past two years. I have 10 people signed up. One of them is one of the 14-year-olds! I am very pleased with my start.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how receptive people have been to Ananda Yoga®. I use the affirmations, and I try to create a spiritual experience, not just a mechanical one. I admit that I had some reservations about how people would react to the affirmations. My neighbor wasn’t at all concerned, however. As she supportively pointed out to me, “People are ready for the spiritual connection!”

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