By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Some people say that Yoga instructors, gurus, and teachers should not contemplate progress. Yet, Yoga has grown to what it is today, as a result of progress. How can I state this? If the opposite were true, and Yoga teachers contemplated failure, this treasured practice would have died thousands of years ago.
There are many aspects of Yoga that help anyone improve his or her life. Below are five methods that can help any Yoga teacher maintain a path of continued progress and success. Ultimately, Yoga students will benefit under the guidance of a successful teacher.
Self-Image: People are often dependent on the opinions of others. As children, we may have been dependent upon the opinions of our peers, teachers, parents, and family members. This causes some of us to be in a state of searching for praise.
You might think that a Yoga teacher would be beyond searching for praise; yet, praise may come easily from his or her students. Instead of progress, a person might regress, as a result of receiving praise and buying into it. In order to keep self-image in balance, each of us needs to have a realistic viewpoint. It is not an easy line to walk – between being over confident and lacking self-confidence.
Inspiration: This is the life blood of maintaining one’s Yoga practice. Inspiration is built on the fuel of motivation for the greater cause of developing the best possible Yoga students and personal practices.
Positive Thought: Every Yoga instructor must constantly have a positive frame of mind. This is not an easy task. Everyone has ups and downs in life. When you teach Yoga classes, you have to stay in a positive frame of mind and have your best “game face” on – even though your own personal circumstances might not be ideal at the time.
Preparation: There is nothing more unprofessional than a Yoga teacher who does not show up for his or her class on time. Each of us has most likely encountered a teacher who is less than attentive to the needs of students. Preparing for a class is all about the needs of the students. This includes punctuality and having a lesson plan, in your head, before you intend to teach a session.
Independence: You would think that a Yoga instructor would be a natural born maverick. In fact, you might think that the average Yoga instructor has a handle on free will and being able to see both sides of an issue. Unfortunately, this is not always the case; but there is a way to enhance independent thinking.
Many teachers network with each other. Some of this bonding stems from meeting each other at Yoga teacher training intensives. Bonds are also formed at conferences, state level Yoga teacher networks, and specialist training. These are usually healthy activities and they encourage an open mind.
However, one should avoid playing “follow-the-leader,” as this relinquishes one’s responsibility to govern his or her own life. Ultimately, the best Yoga teachers have found the teacher within themselves. This does not mean we should ignore new knowledge or advice; but we should not blindly believe everything that we are told.
© Copyright 2010 – Paul Jerard / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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