Often people ask me how I became an international yoga-teacher. Well amazingly, in a world where marketing and image is everything my career started based on word of mouth.
Before moving to Singapore I was actually meant to be an Acupuncturist. I went to five years of graduate school and passed 5 board exams to be able to call myself a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in California… but when we moved for my husband’s career the strict laws in Singapore forbade me from practicing medicine. So I did what I had done everyday for the past 16 years of my life- I went to yoga. (Cont below video)
I had always seen myself as more of a yoga practitioner than a teacher. I showed up as a student everyday for years and then to deepen my practice I mentored with my teachers for eight years. At that time I didn’t know you were supposed to do a yoga teacher training to teach. I simply followed my teachers. I followed them around the world assisting their retreats. When they needed a substitute or were offered a teaching job that they didn’t have time for, I stepped in. Although my life pretty well revolved around yoga I wouldn’t commit to it as my job. I feared work pressures would corrupt the purity of my love for yoga so it remained my little passion project.
But thank God Singapore left me with no choice. When I started teaching in Asia the student’s alignment was very different than how I’d been educated. At first I thought I was supposed to fix their practices… but then I realized that there were a lot of 80+ year old ladies doing everything that I had been taught was “wrong” and “dangerous” and they were fine. And so my mind expanded. Rather than just teaching what I was taught I began to watch and observe my student bodies. I asked them questions, studied their energy lines and then I got creative.
My teaching style evolved. The incredible education I was given between my yoga teachers and in Chinese Medical School served me well but it became clear that I had to let go of my attachment to that information if I wanted to serve my students as well as I possibly could.So I started to teach in the most logical and pragmatic way I could come up with. I found my own teaching voice and my students’ practices grew so fast!
Before I came to Singapore power postures, like arm balances were never emphasized. I had been studying handstands for the past 10 years so of course I wanted to share my passion with my students. Quickly I became known as “The Queen of Handstands.”
Most of my students were teachers. Singapore is also quite transient so after studying with me for 2-4 years some of them moved. Many of my students quickly became studio owners and industry leaders in their new yoga communities all over Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Then they would contact me up ask me to come and teach for them. And so I began booking workshops in the Middle East, Australia and throughout Asia.
Instagram still confused me, but then one of my students, @yvettejune , who was trying to help me further grow my career told me: “Marysia just do what you do best: Teach.” And so I did. @denisekelleroffical helped me make the videos more professional and then things just snowballed.
I love sharing my ideas about asana and I love writing about how I practice yoga off the mat. So now social media is my friend. Everything I put out there I feel deeply connected to. I was born to teach yoga, I am living in the digital age and I am loving it all.