By Paul Jerard
Why do talented students fall short of becoming Yoga teachers? Ever notice that “quick flashes” of brilliance disappear in a short time. Take for example, the super flexible Yoga student who can do a split in every direction, and make a pretzel, or circle, out of his, or her, body on the first Yoga class. Usually, this student will leave after the first class saying, “Is that all there is to Yoga?”
As most of us know there is so much more to Yoga than mere flexibility, but how do you make a student aware of this in his or her first Yoga class? Do you really want to try? Some Yoga teachers jump through “flaming hoops” to appease a potential student who has natural flexibility. This happens much to the dismay of dedicated and established Yoga students who have been training for years.
So what is the problem and why do we worship exceptional flexibility and physical prowess? The problem stems from the Yoga teacher who has forgotten what the prime ingredient is within the exceptional Yoga student. That ingredient is “perseverance” and that is what separates the “flash in the pan” from the Yoga student who may well evolve into a Yoga teacher. The student who shows up to Yoga class and tries to do his, or her, best should never be taken for granted.
Perseverance is a true guarantee of success for Yoga students and Yoga teachers alike. When you think about your life, perseverance has always played a major role in your past achievements. How many people will tell you that teaching Yoga is not a good career move? Plenty will, but you must have the fortitude and perseverance to pursue your own desire, in the first place.
In order to make any achievement in Yoga, you need a formula for success. Here is a list of ingredients that you must have in order to succeed at teaching Yoga or anything else in life. Firstly, you need desire and passion to become a Yoga teacher. If you don’t have it, that’s no problem, just find something that you feel passionate about. Do not waste time pursuing any goal without passion.
Secondly you must have a dream that you can visualize. If you can picture yourself teaching Yoga, and feel the joy of your journey, you are fine. However, if you cannot see yourself becoming a Yoga teacher, it just might not be your “calling.” Whatever the goals you choose to pursue in life, you will need both desire and the ability to visualize your dreams, in order to proceed to the next step.
The third ingredient is to take action. The difference between a dream and a goal is how much action is propelling the idea forward. If I visualize becoming a Yoga teacher without any action, then this is just a “pipe dream.” You would be better off to dream in your sleep and take action while you are awake.
Look around you and you will see most people do not make any significant changes or take positive action. If you want to teach Yoga, this is to your advantage. Why do I say this? So many people passionately talk and dream without action. Even after you become a Yoga teacher, you must still take action, but many people “rest on their laurels.” A few Yoga teachers skip their continuing education, become stale, and eventually quit.
How can this happen? Because Yoga teachers and everyone else should write down goals, make plans, and keep taking action. This is not that difficult, but sitting down and dreaming is easier. The biggest difference between those who think about becoming a Yoga teacher and those who become a Yoga teacher is action. Determination and perseverance do count against all the odds.
The last ingredient toward successfully teaching Yoga is to maintain your own personal practice and continue your education on Yogic subjects as they apply to your students. Learn more about safety, anatomy, kinesiology, physiology, sports medicine, modifications, props, and physical therapy. Network with medical professionals and you will learn more. Learn about Yogic philosophy for yourself and for those Yoga students who are eager to learn from you.
This is what I refer to as the “monitoring stage.” You cannot expect your ability to improve as a Yoga teacher to run on “auto-pilot.” You still have to write down and reach for goals.
Again, perseverance comes into play. For every Yoga teacher I know, perseverance has become a way of life. This is the way it must be in an ever-changing and fast paced world. Your dreams may not go according to plan bur perseverance is your private mental strength. When you teach Yoga classes, you must address the needs of your students and this causes self-improvement.
The rewards for Yoga teachers are many, but giving Yoga instruction requires determination. You will run into obstacles, like any other profession, but how do you want to be remembered? Think about this: Every person you help will help someone else. You are causing a positive chain reaction by teaching Yoga classes at a time when positive energy is in big demand.
As a Yoga teacher, you have the potential to do enormous good, but you must focus your attention on your faithful Yoga students, your family, and friends. It is normal to take people we are familiar with for granted, but you must persevere to appreciate what you already have.
© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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