Why I Do the Work that I Do

workI guess this is a labor day themed post, (though I don’t belong to a union— I believe in, and support them) as it is about work, but the truth is that I was writing it anyway and the calendar coincided serendipitously. Also, I have never really wanted to work, at least for wage. If I could do nothing but read for the rest of my life I probably would.

A few years back when I came into some money, I did just that—nothing.

Before that I wandered through my early adulthood as a waiter, carpenter and anything else that appealed to me at a given moment. Then at the age of thirty-two I found my way to a yoga room and discovered something that truly appealed to me.

There are many teachers in my family so becoming a yoga teacher wasn’t a great leap and I do have to say that I was born to educate. It comes naturally and I am extremely into sharing what I learn and helping others with issues that they are dealing with.

A few years ago my daughters’s pre-k teacher told my wife and I that she felt her mission was to make the students love school and want to keep coming back. I often equate yoga with pre-k— we play on the floor, we use mats and blankets and we nap at the end of class. As a yoga teacher I see my role in a similar light to my daughters teacher.

My goal is to explain in simple terms why people need to change the way they stand and walk, and to make them understand how incredibly essential a dynamic body is to aging well. I hope to do it in a way that makes them feel comfortable with the concept.

For whatever reason I am a teacher that attracts a less than yogic group of students. Lot’s of husbands and partners are sent my way and I feel an obligation to make them feel at ease and want to come back.

But, and it is a big but, I don’t believe that people should do exercise that they don’t like. It is counter-productive to force the brain and body into rhythms that aren’t emotionally appealing. In truth, people don’t need to exercise if they move a lot but our world (particularly industrialized nations) has become ridiculously sedentary.

And if being sedentary was not bad enough we are sedentary in ways that are terrible for our body and health. Car seats, desk chairs and couches are rarely ergonomically designed and they usually make a bad scenario worse.

So if you are going to live a modern life in the modern world you have to figure out ways to move that serve both your body and your mind. For many of us, exercise is essential because without it we would be lost.

I have admitted numerous times in these posts my strained relationship with working out and one of the reasons that I keep teaching is to keep myself moving. And to share with others that not every exercise teacher is a hard body who works out for two to three hours a day.

So on this day that celebrates an essential movement that allowed for fair labor practices and a reasonable work week I am proud and lucky to say that I love the work that I do, but will add the caveat that I can’t wait to retire.

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