teacher feature – eden defendini

since 2007 tranquil space (ts) has been my yoga home. in fact tranquil space is increasingly my home away from home as the hours i spend at the studio continue to rack up! at this yoga haven the intimate relationship i’ve had with yoga since the early ninety’s transformed when i moved from being a yoga student into the world of yoga teaching – which really is just a different kind of yoga study.

the funny thing is that before i began teaching, particularly after practices where everything seemed to ‘click’ and the calm stillness of the present moment seemed fused to my spirit, i thought my love for yoga could simply not grow any deeper. i only discovered how wrong i was after stepping onto the other side of the mat and opening my eyes to a different side of yoga: service.

in my view, the goal of providing yoga instruction is to offer a voice that carries students deeper into their personal practice of self study and mindfulness. that is what all of my favorite teachers have always done for me. i love encouraging my students to seek their own practice within the larger group- and to stay connected to their breath as they flow from one asana to the next and one moment to the next. i also enjoy taking time after class to answer questions and break down asanas because it allows me to see the sparkle in the eye of a yogi who has just shifted their understanding of their own practice.

looking back over the years i can remember many yoga teaching moments (on the back yard at thanksgiving family get togethers, on the floor of my office at grad school, on the floor of basically every office i’ve ever occupied!) and i can recognize the same joy in those moments that i feel when teaching a formal class. helping others to discover how to feel good in a body that has caused them trouble in the past, how to accept where they are in their bodies at the present moment, and how to move forward towards a brighter future with increased mental clarity – those are the thrills of the service of teaching yoga. i can honestly say that sharing my love for yoga through regular teaching has brought a new light to my life. it is one that i cherish and one that i will hold on to as long as i live.

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