Any serious yoga student will tell you that regardless of how much you practice, sometimes, practice alone is not enough. You also need to put in the time. If I practice a pose for 12 hours straight does that guarantee that I will master it? Of course not, and in fact, I’d probably hurt myself. However, if I practice it over the course of 12 months, my chances of mastery will be considerably better because I’ll have given my body time to absorb the pose. The muscles can learn what they need to learn, the skin can learn, the breath can learn. This goes right back to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Patanjali says practice must be consistent and sustained (Sutra 1.14) for real progress to occur. With respect to teaching, I think the principle is the same. Yoga is a rich discipline. You can’t just learn how to teach it – you have to put in the time to ‘become’ a teacher.
Over the years, I have put in time and delved deeply into my practice. Through rigorous training I have also learned how to use that experience as a framework for my teaching. My practice and my teaching are inextricably linked. My training is on-going. I learn from my practice, I learn from my students, and I continue to study with those who know more than me. In my mind, it’s this feedback loop that affords me the privilege to teach others.
What do you think? What do you look for in a Yoga Teacher? What qualities do you expect your teacher to exhibit? What qualifications do you expect them to have? …I would love to hear your thoughts!
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