Teaching Yoga and Accepting Change

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Teaching Yoga and Accepting Change

yoga instructor certificationBy Faye Martins

As we decide to pass the torch to others, teaching Yoga helps us to accept change, because the practice itself makes us slow down enough to become aware of the changes that have occurred and supports us in tailoring our teaching and practice to our current physical, while calming our emotional state. We are constantly reminded to breathe deeply, look within, and find out what is true for us in that moment. To move through life from that inner place of ahimsa is what each of us is taught at our foundational Yoga teacher training.

Teaching your Yoga students to accept changes, throughout life, may be their most difficult task to put into practice. Luckily, Yogic methodology is designed to help people cope with new situations, which occur on a daily basis. The practice of Yoga is a great tool for helping a practitioner to accept change.

Often, we are so busy that we are not even aware of the changes that are occurring within us and around us. Yoga helps us to slow our body, breath and mind down, so that we can become aware of our own physical and emotional state. Our bodies change daily, even hourly, sometimes we have a tremendous amount of energy and on other days, we are very tired or fatigued and need a more restorative practice.

The art of the practice of Yoga training is based on the self-awareness of what we actually need in the moment. The practice of ahimsa, or non-violence is a core element of Yogic philosophy. Once you become aware of what you need, the key is to choose a sequence of asanas, pranayama, and meditation that truly nourish you and are appropriate for you on a given day. In order to be aware of the changing nature of our present needs, we must learn to tune into our emotional and physical state of being without judgment. This includes a compassionate awareness of the changing state of our bodies and minds on a daily basis.

For example, to work in a kitchen preparing meals for two hundred retreat participants at a conference, and then engage in a vigorous two hour Yoga practice, may not be appropriate or even self-loving. You may need a much more restorative practice after a long day in the kitchen. In this context, the concept of success is self-referential. In other words, a successful practice is based on an evaluation of how well you match the practice you create to what your body, mind and spirit may need on any given day.

There are also times in our lives when we are recovering from an illness, injury or surgical procedure when we need to engage in a much more gentle Yoga practice than we are used to doing. These limitations can be very frustrating and difficult to accept, especially if you are used to engaging in a vigorous practice of Yoga asanas. As we go through the decades of our lives, the needs of our bodies and minds also change and evolve.

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