The importance of humility while teaching yoga
Picture it. A classed filled with 10 – 15 people (or more). All pairs of eyes are on you to lead. You get to share, teach, adjust, and guide a group of eager people to a better mental state. After class, everyone looks at you from their post-Savasana bliss. As students leave the class, they congratulate you on a good class. They give many thanks. They tell you they look forward to seeing you next week. They share intimate details about their lives or stressful days and how your class is important to them.
All of these wonderful compliments along with a chance to lead a class and be an influence?? It is most definitely a heady feeling.
Week after week, as the well wishes and thank you’s and confidence-boosting words come in, it can start to affect the ego. Maybe you, the teacher, start to think your words ARE that influential. Maybe you start to believe in the importance of your own words and not much else. Don’t get me wrong, as a teacher, you have to believe in your capabilities and be confident. But, humility should always be coveted.
A humble teacher learns from students, sees what different teachers have to offer, accepts and admits his/her own teaching flaws, but yet maintains a sense of self-belief that doesn’t put anyone else down.
The biggest problem when the ego takes over, is that it stops being about the STUDENTS. With lack of humility, it becomes about the teacher alone and that should never be the case.
As yoga teachers, our goal is to impart knowledge and gently guide our students towards achieving the best versions of themselves. Humility helps me understand that I don’t have all the answers, but rather I have so much to study.
My students instruct me more than I do them. When I work with a student who struggles with low back pain, or observe a student who does a beautiful Sirsasana (headstand), or talk to a student who shares his/her meditation tips with me, I LEARN. Because of all these interactions with my students, I am motivated to research anatomy, meditation, mindfulness, yoga’s effect on low back pain, and more. So, you see, I am the one who is gaining knowledge from my students.
I am extremely grateful to be able to bring yoga to others. I feel humbled when my students return to my classes each week. If I get compliments from them, it’s because of their hard work that has inspired me to be a better teacher.
Who dares to teach, must never cease to learn
It’s a privilege for me to be able to teach. I never want to forget that.
As always, thanks for stopping by and reading!