On the Joys of Teaching

(FULL Circle)

I look at them, and I think:

This must be how it feels like to have children.

Their brows are furrowed in concentration as they bend over their manuals; some mutter quietly to themselves; others make faint fluttering motions with fingers and hands.

In a few minutes, they’ll be teaching their buddies their first, full 75-minute Hatha Yoga class, and as much as I’ve encouraged them to think of it as an opportunity to learn rather than an assessment to ace, they’re apprehensive and agitated.

Watching them worry, I feel a knot of affection, amusement and awe tighten my chest. They’ve been such lovely, lovely students to have: earnest in their efforts and generous with their trust. Watching them grow over the last two months has been equal parts pleasure and privilege, and this afternoon, as they reach the first of the major milestones in their yoga teacher training program, I think:

This must be how it feels like to have children.

(The sun is streaming through the windows and lighting up their faces. Is it a trick of the light or a trick of the heart that makes them look so radiant? Oh, where oh where did the time go?)

The knot in my chest tightens as other threads weave in; through the constriction, I can feel the pride, feel the love—and feel the ache of the separation to come.

If this is how it feels like to have children, then what a bittersweet feeling it is.


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