By Gopi Rao
Walking on the yoga teacher’s path requires dedication and discipline. Perhaps surprisingly, it doesn’t require you to be the most flexible or advanced person in your yoga class. Anyone with the desire to work hard and subscribe to yogic philosophy can become a successful yoga teacher. In fact, many people feel more comfortable with a teacher who has flaws and limitations like the rest of us. Students don’t expect perfection and neither should you. Like every other yogic journey in life, the teacher’s path takes you on a trip of reflection, personal growth and physical wellness.
As you learn to become a yoga instructor, you will most likely study the work of others, take notes on how seasoned teachers format their classes or learn specific teaching techniques. While all of these items are valuable, keep in mind that you are still you and you have your own unique style and personality to add to your class that no one else has. Never feel as though you have to do things another teacher’s way. Integrate the techniques and philosophies you learn with your personal style to create a class that works for you.
Let Go of Fears
Teaching can be a scary venture as you put yourself in front of a group of people, each with their own set of expectations and judgments about you. Remind yourself often that yoga is not about judging others, but a much more personal practice about each individual. The same holds true for the teacher. In order to be an effective teacher, you need to let go of your fears and anxieties so you can give your best to your students. The more you teach, the more confident you will become and the easier this will be. Yoga certification gives you a foundation of knowledge, but experience and will improve your skills every day.
Seek a Mentor
Teaching is an ever-changing profession that requires keeping up with industry changes, students’ needs and teaching trends. In order to be the best teacher you can be, it’s important to seek the help of a mentor. A mentor can be there for you for advice, a shoulder to cry on or just as a colleague who is traveling the same path as you. Look at your fellow yoga teachers not as competition, but as people who have valuable advice to give.
Go With the Flow
Never expect your teaching practice to remain constant. As you gain experience, attend more yoga teacher training intensives, or change classes, you’ll want to occasionally change your lesson plan, the flow of the class, or emphasis on health benefits. A good teacher will not fear change, but will embrace any new way of doing something that helps him or her become a more effective teacher.
© Copyright 2012 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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