500 hour hatha yoga teacher training intensive programBy Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Even though many Yoga instructors have the right mindset, it is part of human nature to be distracted by the “problem of the day.” No matter whom you are, you are still human and no one is immune from losing focus, not even a Yoga instructor.

When I was giving a motivational talk about Yoga, one gentleman raise his hand and stated, “If Yoga really worked, all Yoga teachers would be immortal.”

My answer was that Yoga can promise better mental, physical, and spiritual health, but nothing yet has been developed for immortality. This plane of existence is for a limited time, but we can make the most of our time here, through Yoga practice.

Let’s look at a few methods, which will aid Yoga instructors and Yoga students find focus, concentration and tranquility.

Create your own atmosphere of positive energy by show loving kindness on a daily basis, and helping those in need. Make time for sincerely encouraging others.

There are homeless people in almost every community. If you see them, do not look away, but say hello to them on a daily basis. Why should we do this?

Firstly, we see them every day. Most people do not talk to them because of an internal fear of poverty. They are the “untouchables,” which exist in all societies. Poverty is something that most of us do not want to take an in-depth look at. Even those of us who rise from poverty can “forget our roots.”

The truth is, we should all count our blessings for what we have. If we are teaching Yoga, of any style, we are obligated to help others who are less fortunate. We can still spread positive energy around, outside of our Yoga studios.

A close look at poverty is a form of sobriety. It gives us focus and a greater purpose in our lives. We can help or contribute to worthy causes. When you help others it has an internal reward and it does create good Karma. We should not wait for a special season to practice Karma Yoga.

Another way to create focus, concentration, and tranquility, is to get rid of clutter. This happens on a mental, physical, and spiritual plane. Mental clutter can be solved by writing a “to do list.” Please do not fill your list completely, but do make an appointment for meditation and loved ones.

Physical clutter can be handled easily. Clean up rooms that cause you anxiety to look at. An organized room is better for your mental health. Give possessions that you do not use to a reputable charity. This is also Karma Yoga and a good method for creating peace of mind.

Spiritual clutter occurs when we have unfinished business. All of us come from different religions; and this is fine, but we should not wait to reconcile with family, friends, co-workers, and God.

I know a man who is an atheist, but he practices Karma Yoga every day. I joke with him, and tell him, he might just get to heaven. It is not for any of us to judge each other. No religion endorses prejudice and intolerance.

When a Yoga teacher begins to feel self-absorbed and superior to others, he or she is not practicing the union of mind, body, and spirit. What do we practice most often? Yoga does not end when we close the doors to our Yoga studio.


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