By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

When teaching Yoga classes, there are times when you have to be a “cheer leader.” What do I mean by this? There are many interconnected aspects of life, and we all play a small part in them. Each student’s level of success, in life, depends on constant positive reinforcement during the day.

When you see an accomplishment, do not hesitate to praise your students. This does not have to be artificial praise or flattery. A heart felt compliment is much different. Far too often, people in general, and some of our students, feel they do not deserve praise, or that they have a right to succeed in life.

Every Yoga teacher knows students, who feel they do not deserve a better life. This variation of negative thinking is “baggage” that holds back all of humanity.
As teachers, we have the ability to instill positive habits, which will result in happiness and successful living.

The average student has to see the value of a Yogic lifestyle long enough to cultivate the habit of regular Yoga practice. For many people, this is a big step. You cannot expect new students to be present in their practice, until you point out how to connect mind and body with Pranayama. This may seem very basic, but some students never learn this step, because they did not have the guidance.

Does this mean you can reach every student? No, because each student has different thoughts, needs, and aspirations. Some people see only the superficial layer of everything. You cannot make everyone see the deeper aspects of life. An example of this is the student who sees Hatha Yoga only as a stretch class.

There is nothing wrong with this. Stretching alone is a good physical exercise, but stretching and exercise are only components of Yoga. Happiness, clarity of mind, tranquility, and Samadhi, require guidance from a competent Yoga teacher.

Eventually, your students will learn to honor the true teacher within themselves, but they need to develop a clear vision of progress, success, and achievement, before they undertake their journey. The starting point in the journey is usually “sparked” by an exceptional teacher.

Teaching Yoga is in some ways like parenting. If you have instilled a strong foundation in your students, you will be proud of them and their achievements. The student with Multiple Sclerosis who is making great progress, or the child who is learning to concentrate, each has a significant success story.

Make it a point to recognize student progress, when you are aware of it. Our advancement as a species depends on it.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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