This Old Dog Has a New Trick

My theory has been that to provide the most authentic yoga experience for your students, it is mission-critical to know yourself and know what you’re about. So, imagine my surprise when I suddenly realized, I’ve changed. I’m not the same person I was just a year ago.

This old(er) dog woke up. Really, no pun intended.

It happened quite innocently. I was watching a movie called, “The Biggest Little Farm,” and it hit me, OMG, my entire reason for teaching, for being, for living, for existing, for doing, for yoga, is no longer clarity!!!!!

Suddenly, life made sense again.


Years ago, when I first started teaching yoga I was all about empowerment. I taught more of a Power yoga style and I wanted people to feel strong, to feel that “yes and yes” you can do it.


Then along the road of aging, I veered toward clarity. As life became more confusing with regards to health and happiness, I became about seeing things clearly. This maxim guided me for several books, hundreds of classes and workshops,


Clarity was my thing for many years, until it was not. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but lately my teaching and my practice felt meh.


Then all of a sudden, I’m watching this sweet movie when it hit me: I have moved from clarity to purpose.


It’s not really a huge shift. “Finding More on the Mat,” was about a woman seeking her dharma after having children. She found herself utterly adrift in a sea of poop, diapers, vomit and toilet training. And then she discovered that her purpose was to be present to those who needed her most. And voila! She arrived.


In “The Biggest Little Farm,” the owners wonder if their animals are happy. Then they realize that in nature, animals don’t sit around finding ways to be happy. They do their jobs. Mommas feed their babies, goats trim the grass, etc. If an animal can fulfill its purpose, it is content.


To be authentic in your teaching, to be “real” with your friends, you have to do the hard work of noticing who you are. This is what I know now: be ready for change. It happens when you least expect it, maybe with a big bowl of popcorn on a couch enjoying a movie.


For a theme on The Biggest Little Farm focusing on Purpose, click here.


For more on what it means to have an HOV, or a Human Operating value like Purpose, click here.


Michelle Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is an award-winning writer and lover of yoga. Her newest book, Theme Weaver: A Companion Workbook to Plan Yoga Classes, is available wherever yoga books are sold, which is Amazon.