the role of a yoga teacherBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

There has been some confusion as to the roles of Yoga teachers, tradition, marketing, business, and “selling out.” At one time, or another, all of the following have been issues, which caused rifts concerning rights, ethics, styles, and traditional Yogic thought.

For example: Yoga props, innovation, contemporary styles, certification, and taking money for classes, have been criticized in the past. Some people criticize these practices to this day.

There are still some Gurus and Swamis who refuse to issue a Yoga teacher’s diploma to students, who have over twenty years of experience, and who teach for the Guru or Swami in his/her ashram or studio. There are some teachers who would never allow a prop in their class.

Some people, who practice Yoga, believe money is evil. Therefore, accepting money for class dues is considered wrong. If billions of dollars are spent on charity, is money still evil? Who can live without money? Are you able to access the Internet without money?

If teachers, studios, and ashrams, ran without any money or donations, Yoga would be practiced at home, out of a book, and without a teacher. Yoga would not have proliferated worldwide without money.

When Yoga was introduced to the west, there were some anticipated changes. The cultural differences, on both sides of the globe, are vast, but this is actually good, as both sides of the world learn from each other.

Some western teachers wear eastern style clothing, while and it is not uncommon to see a teacher from the east wearing a business or sport suit. Through our admiration for cultural uniqueness, we can communicate and live in harmony with each other.

Yoga was not designed to be a stagnant system. Yoga is an evolving holistic health maintenance system, which will continue to grow, as long as people continue to study it.


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