By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Most Yoga teachers follow the lineage, which was designed before them. This is an excellent path to take, as our colleagues share collective thoughts within the “think tank” of a specific style. We have been told, “If we follow the traditional path of our Guru and colleagues, we cannot go wrong.”
For the most part, this is true. However, life may throw us a few curves. What if our Guru passes away, or we live on the opposite side of the world? What if we have fallen out of political favor within our style? What if we discover that some parts of our traditional practice put our students at risk of injury?
There are many “what ifs.” Some Hatha Yoga sub-styles may not be designed for all of our students. Will your knowledge help a person in a wheelchair, a child, a pregnant student, or someone else who needs special attention? If your answer is “no,” you may want to network with other teachers or take specialized Yoga teacher training courses.
Yoga has always been evolving, but has now begun to advance at a rapid pace because of networking and technology. Add to this that Yoga teachers often network with medical professionals. This symbiotic relationship, between Yoga and all forms of medicine, is one of the many reasons why teachers take anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and sports medicine courses.
While it is easy for some to say that Yoga teachers need not worry about anatomy, there is one matter that becomes obvious to all of us. No two bodies are alike. Even identical twins will have differences over the course of a lifetime.
It is true that identical twins will share the same genetics, but the conditions will be different. Identical twins do not share the same exact footsteps, jobs, injuries, repetitive motion, emotional turmoil, and daily activities – over a lifetime.
With this in mind, many Yoga teachers pursue continuing education courses, to tap into a larger collective consciousness of teachers from diversified styles. One misconception among some Yoga instructors is that we must blindly follow ideas that were laid down by others – even if we have a new, creative idea that will prevent hundreds of injuries in the future.
Why rock the boat? This mindset leads to a feeling of helplessness, and it prevents creative ideas. The average workplace runs in this same way. The decision makers are a small group at the top. We could blame our style, Guru, politics, or something else, because our creativity is being stifled by others. In truth, we give permission to those who tell us to be quiet.
The solution is to constantly work on the improvement of our education, personal practice, and teaching techniques. We can point our energy toward a positive cause by helping, discovering, and creating new methods for our students – one day at a time.
© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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