Yoga teachers must be willing to step down from this imagined pedestal and utter the words “I don’t know” on a regular basis.
Yoga is an intensely private practice. One that must be taken into ones life and routine with gratitude and regularity. Teaching yoga is then something that one can only do to ones self. Anything else can only be viewed as instruction.
This instruction however is vital for the student of yoga. Without the accumulated philosophy, anatomy, meditation, alignment and sequencing, the student’s toolbox for self transformation is empty. It would be ignorant to believe that one could attain yoga without instruction.
It’s here where I often find my wheels falling off. I came to yoga with a strong home practice, learning from an app on a phone and then graduating to videos on YouTube (shout out to Adrienne – you rock girl). Going to a leisure centre or (God forbid) an actual yoga studio seemed so out of touch for me. The last thing the respectable soccer Mum’s of SE London needed was a sweaty, out of shape, tattoo covered hairball, wheezing and puffing his way to try touch his toes. So I taught myself and as with most self taught disciplines – i taught myself incorrectly.
It wasn’t until i decided to do my 200 hour teacher training that I really learned about yoga. And I’d like to say – no matter what they say in the ad – i wasn’t ready. Now just a few short sessions away from completing the training I can say with a lot of certainty that I’m still not ready.
I don’t think anyone is ready but that shouldn’t stop us from doing it in the first place.
It’s been through the process of learning HOW yoga is taught that I have received the best lessons on how to adjust my own personal practice. I have even, shock and horror, started attending more and more public classes – despite the occasional shock of the tannies in their SB lycra.
For any aspiring yogi I can HIGHLY recommend doing a YTT. It’s illuminating.
I know exactly what you mean! Even now a couple of years into teaching, I have realised the journey of a yogi never ends and involves continuous learning. I love that, it’s actually very reassuring. As a teacher, you share what you’ve learnt ‘to date’. And knowing there is so much more to learn is what keeps the fire in my belly burning. Experiencing different yoga styles both the ‘traditional’ modern styles to the different ways yoga teachers teach, helps each of us as individuals grow and develop. I love that. We learn from both our students and our teachers. And to me that’s a beautiful thing 🙂
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