By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When training Yoga teachers about the specific needs of students, there are many discussions, which occur. One point to become aware of is the reason why a given student continues to come to your classes.

When a student walks into class for the first time, there is a logical reason for it. It may be stress, excess weight, depression, or perhaps, their physician told them to go to a Yoga class; but there is always a need that is the driving force, behind the action, which causes their arrival.

Beyond this, there is also a common thread which all people desire. Everyone wants happiness. Most people look outside their mind and body for happiness, joy, and contentment.

Maybe a new car, a shallow relationship, or the latest high technology gadget, will buy some temporary gratification. We know that money can buy many things, and it can buy temporary happiness. Yet, this is much like drug abuse, as it requires more money to be temporarily happy, and the effects do not last as long after each acquisition.

True happiness comes from peace of mind and the gratification which real friendships can give. Gratification can come from many directions. Helping people who really need your assistance (Karma Yoga) is very rewarding.

The drive to give to others, or to volunteer your services, has to come from within for happiness to be the end result. For example: If I do my neighbor’s landscaping, when he or she is ill – gratification occurs, because I want to do it.

On the other hand, if my neighbor shames me into doing his or her landscaping, because of his or her bad health, and I really do not want to, there is no gratification and no happiness. In fact, maybe the second scenario could become a weekly trap of obligation. One might say it is a form of Karma Yoga (selfless service), but there is no joy in it.

In life, there are many obligations, but we have to accept them as they are, and make the most of it. However, the quest for happiness will take place when we purposely make it our objective. Seeing the value of your own intelligence, your family, your friends, and appreciating your good health, will bring you true happiness.

Many of us have the ability to choose to be happy. It is as simple as continually saying, “I am happy.” If you say this to yourself often enough, and smile, it is contagious. Happiness starts within you, improves your health, and makes you strong enough to help others. In turn, you are changing the world for the best, one relationship at a time.

It does not matter what form of Yoga you teach, because all forms of Yoga were designed to end suffering, and bring bliss to each practitioner.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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