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Feb
2019
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The Evolution of my yoga teaching : Part 2

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Got a lovely opportunity to teach free yoga at the City of Raleigh Museum

It has been 5 years and a few months since I started teaching yoga – time goes by SO fast. I can’t believe it has actually been that long! 

I discuss this topic in a much (almost 2 years ago – SHAME!) earlier post, but I felt an urge to write about this again.

Over the past 2 years, my resolve into the kind of teacher I want and grow to be has come more into focus. So here it goes.

1. A definite shift towards the roots of yoga

I realized early on during my teacher training and even when I was a novice yogi that I’m not a fan of fads. There are yoga “trends” out there, but all this is just fluff to make yoga seem “cool”, “fashionable”, “business-worthy” and get people in the door.

Therefore, in the face of all this, I feel my pull to the heart of yoga to be very strong.

Everything that you’ll ever need from yoga can be found  in the works written by Patanjali, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar and in yoga books that help translate and shed light on the wisdom of this ancient practice without any fuss or embellishment. It does’t mean these books are too dry to read – far from it! Furthermore, teachers that have studied and practiced yoga for many years can give us that authentic yogic experience 

I have been researching (thanks to David G) and studying from books that explain the nuances and practical application of what is described in the yoga sutras of Patanjali. It is all there – in the foundations. 

And it is this knowledge, stemming from the source that I want to pass on to my students : real, honest, authentic yoga. 

 

2. Awareness of surroundings: More selective of where I want to teach

Controversial opinion time: I don’t like factory-style, franchise yoga. I do appreciate how these studios have made yoga quite mainstream and ubiquitous. These places usually have swanky amenities and tons of classes offered throughout the day. However, they are all ridiculously expensive and target a certain crowd. After taking multiple classes in a wide range of these franchises to give them all a chance,  my assessment has always been a feeling of MEH. 

I’m not trying to sound like a snobby purist, but if the space isn’t welcoming to all, then NO thanks. Especially when I have paid $20 for a drop-in AND there is a fee for a mat rental (anti-yogi thought: I despise the $2 mat rental, especially at places that charge an arm and a leg for class). 

Disclaimer: I do want to say that I have met some lovely teachers at the corporate yoga studios. The corporate influence on yoga is what bothers me.  

I want to teach at a place that is welcoming, open, warm, down-to-earth and most of all authentic to yoga. I want to teach at a place where the instructors feel connected to their students, and feel a sense of humility and responsibility to being yoga teachers.

Thankfully, I have been fortunate enough to teach at these types of studios. Furthermore, I’m a big fan of supporting local, homegrown and independent businesses and this allows me to do that.

 

3. Less doubt. More confidence

 

Yoga is 1% theory, 99% practice – Pattabhi Jois

As time passes, and I continue to study, practice and learn, I can feel an inner-reserve of self-assured-ness building. 

I am finding myself more and more confident in the sequences I put together, the adjustments I give to students, and the knowledge I have to share. 

There is still so much more to learn, but I have more self-belief. Ultimately, the more confident I am, the more I can give my students.

4. Desire to teach for free as much as possible

This kind of relates to my earlier soapbox comments on franchise yoga, etc. 

I wish yoga was cheaper for everyone. I understand the need for business owners to stay open. However, if I can help it – I want to teach for free as much as possible. We all know this: working out and working on our mental health is a luxury for those that can afford it.

From the single mom who is stressed about paying bills to keep electricity on to the college student going through a very rough graduate program to the elderly woman with aching joints to whom yoga stretches would provide a great relief. These people NEED yoga and all its benefits and deserve it as much as anyone else. I want to reach the people who can’t necessarily afford or get to a yoga class. I don’t know how to fully implement it yet. But, I want to try.

I teach a Sunday morning class where I charge $5-8 per class.  The response has been wonderful over the years as I have awesome diversity!

The City of Raleigh museum here in NC has been offering free yoga classes on Saturdays (YAY!) and I’ve been trying to teach there as much as possible. 

One day, I’d like to open a yoga studio that would be sustainable on donations and be available to ALL!

Is there a multi-millionaire VC who wants to go in on this with me??

5. Always be a student

The yoga world is so expansive and I have so much to learn! I hope to continue to have that thirst for knowledge and pursue the path of gaining more. Lastly, I promise to always stay humble

Always a student, never a master

Are there teachers out there who have had similar growth experiences? What has your yoga teaching journey been like? Please do share your thoughts! Would love to know. 

I’m so happy to be back in the blogging space. Thank you so much for reading! 

Namaste

 

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