vinyasa yoga teacher certificationBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Who fits the profile of a future Hatha Yoga teacher? Do you envision a perennial spiritual seeker, a specific body type, or an athlete for life? Yoga instructors come from all walks of life, with a variety of life experiences and the desire to help others. The three following examples are not the most likely, and their names have been changed for their privacy.

Joe the Yoga Teacher

This is not “Joe the Plumber” from the 2008 US Presidential Election. Joe had a challenging childhood, grew up in poverty, and fell through “the cracks of society.” In his teens, he became a homeless drug addict. After years on the city streets, he became acquainted with Hatha Yoga, while going through drug rehabilitation.

Joe states: “Up to the point where I began to study Yoga, I never considered having anything like a life purpose. My life was full of painful memories and all I wanted was my next fix.” The change from drug abuse to Yoga enthusiast was not instant; but during his visits to drug rehabilitation, his life direction eventually changed. Now, Joe teaches Yoga to people in his old neighborhood, who are seeking a better life.

Jayne the Yoga Instructor

Jayne is a single mother of three, who was exposed to Yoga in a corporate fitness center. She began to practice independently with books, magazines, DVDs, and while searching the Internet for more information. Although she has limited funds, she found affordable methods for studying and for obtaining her Yoga certification.

At the same time, she also taught her children Yogic values. Jayne said, “Meals are healthy, we eat together, we practice together, and we study together. My children are able to prioritize, see improvements now, and look to a brighter future.” Not surprisingly, on nights when Jayne teaches, Jayne’s children can be found in a Yoga class or studying in the waiting area.

Ben the Yoga Instructor

Ben lived a middle-class childhood, went directly to college from high school; his parents will have their 50th wedding anniversary next year. Ben worked in business management after college, continued to attend college part-time during evening hours, and life seemed like a stream of financial success. Suddenly, the 21st century arrived, and the job market squeezed him into unemployment four times in eight years.

Ben practiced for 16 years, with three different teachers, but never considered Yoga teacher training. He states: “I was always too busy with my job, working toward my master’s degree, or spending time with my family, to think about teaching Yoga classes.” The last time Ben found himself unemployed, he decided to become a Yoga instructor. Now, he teaches full time as an independent contractor.

Who really fits the profile of a Yoga teacher? It all depends on where we are in life, and what we consider to be important. One common thread is that, every person who teaches Yoga classes, has the desire to make a difference – by helping others become aware of a better way of living.

© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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