Wearing the yoga teacher “hat”

My travel writer “hat”

In one of my other lives, I write travel books on Hawaii. Recently, Erin, a fellow travel writer, and I chatted about how much longer we could do it. Yes, we agreed, everyone glamorizes the adventures of a travel writer, but the reality is more mundane (and grueling). Research trips are not vacations, lemme tell you!

But, we agreed, we travel differently on assignment. It’s as if we’re wearing the travel writer “hat.” People approach us, willing to share their stories and secrets. Of course, people treat us differently because we act differently. We’re out and about; we’re typically solo; we’re all eyes and ears, open to random conversations, soaking up a place, its people and its culture, like a sponge. Perhaps we’re more outgoing and “out there” because we have a reason to be. Otherwise we’d probably behave more like typical people and mind our own business.

We relish the intensity of travel as travel writers. That, we agreed, is what we’d miss if we stop.

My yoga teacher “hat”

In response to my prior post, “Yoga Rx for my dad,” Dhana commented that her family doesn’t really seek her yoga advice. She assumed that mine did. But, despite my dad’s recent stick-to-it-ness with my yoga Rx for him, my family is similar to Dhana’s. I didn’t teach my dad as if I were teaching a class. We were just chatting and I took advantage of that half-hour: dad as captive audience.

Perhaps Dhana’s and my childhood families see us first as daughter and sister. Not as yoga teacher. It’s different with our students, who meet us mostly (maybe only) in yoga classes. Wearing the yoga teacher “hat,” we interact a certain way with people. They follow our instructions; they ask questions; they trust our judgment. And we try to help them train their bodies and minds in the span of an hour or two of class.

It is a focused dynamic, with great responsibility and great reward. If my travel writer “hat” intensifies my travel experience, my yoga teacher “hat” likewise deepens my yoga experience.

Maybe my dad is gradually adding “yoga teacher” to his definition of me, hence his receptivity. Whatever the reason, I’m glad. I figure he’ll be ready for a full-blown class (free private for Mom and Dad!) the next time I visit my hometown.


  1. my mom seeks out my advice on “yoga hat” stuff all the time… and also teaches me all the time. i sometimes teach to “older” women… i wouldnt be able to have the confidence to even try without her help and advice.


  2. I grew up as the little sister and the baby of the family, so putting on the yoga teacher hat meant huge changes for me.
    One of the biggest was learning to speak with authority, especially when my big sister – eight years older than me – was in the class.
    I’m so grateful to her for stepping up to be one of my first students when I started out as a teacher – but it wasn’t easy overcoming a lifetime of family conditioning.
    One odd thing I’ve noticed about my yoga teacher hat: with a few embarrassing exceptions (two people whom I consistently call by the same wrong name), as soon as the hat’s in place, I suddenly remember names in a way that I had never been able to before.
    Go figure.


  3. You make a good point about parents seeing us as daughters first. But of course we see them wearing the parent hat. My dad actually came to my yoga class when he was in town last week (first yoga experience ever!) and it was quite fun to see him in a new light as well as to be seen by him, wearing my ‘yoga teacher hat’.


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