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As we grow as yoga teachers we must strengthen our knowledge base and development in order to provide quality classes to our students. How we theme and sequence will always depend on the student, the location, and studio requests for specific practices.
We know the necessity when providing a private session with a stressed-out mom is to give her the space she needs to find a calm balance after a busy day. Other times, we focus more on core and strength while teaching in a fitness studio, or emphasize finding peace within athletes after a tough practice or game. Each of these are scenarios that we attempt to do with ease because we believe in our practice, our community, and we can provide our own unique style in each of those classes.
Some would lead us to believe through marketing and social media that the best yoga teachers are the young blondes gracing the cover of Yoga Journal. This is misleading as many of us age, embrace curves, and smile with ease knowing that yoga is more than just striking a pose. It is a combination of embodying our practice with devotion and linking our mind, body, and spirit whether you are resting in child’s pose or balancing in a headstand. Yoga is attainable to anyone and everyone. As teachers, it is our job to be open and to accept everyone for who they are the moment they unroll their mat onto the floor.
We may at times fail in the direction of the class with a sequence that seemed perfect at the time but falls short in the studio space. Perhaps we are excited to queue a familiar pose with another description or simply forget our left from right. The fact of the matter is we are human and bound to make mistakes from time to time. It is the imperfections that make us unique and allow us to grow as teachers by taking the chances to learn what does not always work in a class setting.
The beauty of yoga is that as long as we blend our own compassionate individual style to a session, then we will make our practice more authentic. We take the time to make the connection in the room and ensure we are doing more than going through the motions of the poses. Our goal should always be able to aim true to the practice. We often must add safe variations and modifications in order for our students to tap within themselves to see if they can reach a deeper level in their practice.
Yoga provides us, the teacher and our students, the ability to work on our presence of being in the moment. As teachers we learn from our students as they strive to reach a little farther or focus just a little more deeply on their breath. It is a connection in which we are there to help guide them through the session finding that spatial moment of bliss.
As teachers if we can provide a moment of silence to a busy mind or confidence to the student hiding in the back of the room, we have succeeded in helping our students find a little more grace in their breath and practice. It is through the growth of our students that we begin to build a foundation to becoming more enriched teachers.