By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

No overruling organization for yoga instructors determines official professional behavior standards or even certification. Yoga professionals still debate over where certain lines should be drawn. Yet, certain ethics are inherent in the yogic path, and yoga instructors do well to adhere to them.

The most important thing to remember, as a yoga teacher, is that you are helping to shape the well-being of your students through your instruction. Respect the place that you occupy as a teacher. Instructors have to keep a tenuous balance that can be quite difficult. A balance must be found between healthy objectivity and the role of transcendental guide.

Each student is on his, or her, own path to wholeness. This wholeness involves a gestation of physical and emotional matters, often leading to charged feelings in the students. The focus of the yoga instructor should be to allow students to seek, and find, solutions to their own needs, in the learning process. Instructors must not focus on their own desires, or the growing process of both the students and the instructors will be stunted.

The nature of a yoga class is intimate. There is a great deal of focus on the body and opening of the body and a measure of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual release. Instructors often must touch their students to assist or correct a physical posture.

All of the students are paying close attention to the movements of the instructor. Some students will become infatuated, or attached, as they associate their release of tension, and spiritual growth, with that person. A compassionate yoga instructor is a guide, who shows his or her students that the true teacher is already within each student.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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