By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
How to become a creative Yoga teacher is not an easy task. Firstly, you need a solid foundation to build on before becoming an innovator. There comes a day when each of us “takes up the torch” from the preceding generation. For some of us, this event may happen in our family life, at work, with the passing of one’s Guru, or after a Yoga teacher training course has concluded. We learn valuable lessons from the generation ahead of us. Then, we initially tend to copy the ways of our teachers, before we become creative Yoga teachers.
Foundation of Knowledge
It is good to have a solid foundation of knowledge before we become innovators. On the other hand, some restless souls cannot wait to “reinvent the wheel.” Granted, creativity is a wonderful thing, but who wants to spend years creating something that was created hundreds of years ago? For this reason, each Yoga teacher should spend time researching the classic texts.
Let the Gurus of the past be your guides, through their writings and your independent research. Let the written works, and videos of today’s most innovative Yoga teachers, be your path toward becoming the best you can be. There is no need to travel the teaching path alone or to recreate what has already been created.
The Path of Education
Remember the saying: “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Why should any of us spend time creating a solution to something that has been solved years ago? Of course, this is why education, research, and building a foundation of knowledge, are so important for all Yoga instructors. Yet, there are many written works by Yoga teachers from the past and present. In fact, the bookshelves contain more literature than a lifetime of reading could consume.
Social Networks for Yoga Teachers
At this time, there is no need to teach Yoga without peer support, unless you choose to. On the other hand, there was a time when teachers visited their Guru, and it was a great journey. To clarify, it may have required a pilgrimage, mountain climbing skills, or traveling by ship halfway around the world. At his point in time, we have teacher networks, air travel, and Internet Yoga teacher communities.
When to Look Outside
If you live on a secluded island but have Internet access, you can trade ideas with Yoga instructors from any part of the world. When answers cannot be found within, it is time to look outside for fresh ideas. At the same time, it should be noted that not every new idea may be applicable to your classes or students. Each Yoga school is unique, and the same can be said for the students within a given school.
It is always best to test new methods and see which methods are a good fit for the greater body of students. When absorbing and testing new methods in your Yoga classes, it never hurts to network with related fields. Chiropractors, physicians, nurses, holistic healers, physical therapists, and personal trainers have practical knowledge in regard to safety. To explain further we should open our minds to methods from other professions. How to become a creative Yoga teacher? Primarily, we must build a foundation of useful information before developing innovation from within.
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