Yoga. I love it. I love reading about it, practicing it, and teaching it to others that attend my classes. I continue to be both a teacher and a student, sometimes unsure of which I love more. While yoga has enriched my life tenfold, her are the top 5 things I have learned from teaching yoga.
You Get What you Give
Such is life; you get back what you put out. In regards to teaching yoga the same applies. If you show up frazzled and unprepared, it shows in your class and your students will feel your tension. I have learned that I cannot physically do everything I want to do in a day sometimes, and that is OK. For many students, their yoga class is the 1 hour they look forward to most in their day, and I make sure to bring my A game so they can get the most out of class. They showed up for me, so I show up for them. I practice what I preach my grounding myself before I lead a class.
Your Vibe Attracts your Tribe
Have you ever met someone and instantly clicked OR instantly gotten the heebie geebies?
That is the vibe they are giving off. Being in tune with yourself and those around you guides you to people and places you want to be. When I first started teaching I was running all over the city teaching everywhere I could, and I thought I had to please everyone. The fact is, once I found my authentic teaching voice and style, students that related to the quotes I share or lighthearted approach at a handstand started to show up. I have become less concerned with being liked, and more concerned with providing challenging and thoughtful sequences for my students. Working from a place that makes sense and sharing it with others has made me a much stronger teacher then worrying about what I ‘should’ be doing.
Consistency is Key
You never know what people are dealing with when they enter your classroom. They may be coping with a tragedy, or be nervous to practice yoga around other people. Staying consistent by showing up to your classes week after week, or informing regulars when you will miss a class goes a long way. Building on past classes, and holding space for students to feel comfortable with you is important for both parties to grow. You can observe their progress, and they will be more comfortable with you assisting then and continuing to challenge them.
It's not Personal
The first time a student was 'doing their own thing' in my class I was crushed. I thought my class must have sucked so bad that she was making up her own instead. The fact is that sometimes people are going to do what they want to. Take charge of your class - you are the expert in the room, and if a student doesn't like your style of teaching and doesn't come back, another person will. If you put together a thoughtful class and take time to care for your students that will shine through and they will return.
Teaching feeds my Soul
While I have many other interests in life, teaching yoga and connecting with others is truly the #1 thing that feeds my soul. Sitting at a desk working on tasks that did not excite nor challenge me was a waste of my time and energy. Since taking time to teach yoga more and more, I have learned that it is not only a creative and physical outlet for me, but a spiritual one as well. It keeps me accountable to my practice and myself.
Yoga is the grease that keeps the wheels of my life turning. Yoga has given me the tools necessary to be the best me I can me. As winter is just starting to settle in, I am even more grateful that I get to enter a warm room and stretch and breath with my fellow yogis forgetting it is freezing outside for an hour and being present on our mats.
What have you learned from practicing and/or teaching yoga? I would love to hear from you...Namaste.