Being a student of yoga.
Assuming I am still alive, I will be studying yoga until I am dead 🙂
Yoga, as most of us come to realize, is a lifelong study. We may begin with the practice to loose weight or because a friend dragged us into class; but sooner or later the practice becomes more expansive.
Almost as if by magic, our mood improves, we become more available for other people and our values shift. We can start to see the interconnected nature between our thoughts and our circumstances.
As a natural extension of these discoveries, it is quite natural for one to want to share the gift of yoga with others, to teach. Imparting the teachings of yoga is a wondrous opportunity that can reveal deeper dimensions of your own life as well as in the lives of your students.
There is just one caveat…
You must forever remain a student.
If you are not diligent in your own personal practice, or mistake teaching time for practice time, your teaching will likely become rote and uninspired -you lose the magic. Personal practice is the foundation of teaching.
Here are a few time tested and simple tips for strengthening your personal practice and sewing the seeds of the inner teacher.
3 Ways to Truly Become A Student of Yoga
1. Have a Dedicated Space
Having a dedicated space in which to stretch, breath and or meditate is essential. It does not have to be fancy. My first meditation enclave was wedged between a wall and a desk. It felt like home. Establishing home base for your practice will build up a vital charge of energy and association that will strengthen your practice. Find some way to designate a formal practice space.
2. Regular Practice
In order for the practices to work, you have to do them.
I often tell students to make it easy on themselves by just committing to practicing on a daily basis, no matter how small. This will circumvent the tendency to fall into “tomorrow” syndrome, in which it becomes more and more easy to dismiss the value of yoga practice with each passing day; until it becomes a nice idea rather than a living breathing reality.
If you want to get good at anything, whether it is playing the piano, mastering card tricks, learning to paint or pursuing your unique and noble life’s purpose, you have to practice.
3. Find Positive Association
The more we practice yoga, the more sensitive we become to what is wholesome and supportive to our well being and what is not. Turning the tide of negative behavior takes ongoing dedicated practice as well as a healthy dose of love and acceptance.
What can we do outside of our formal practice time that will support our formal practice? What foods do we eat? Who do we hang out with? What time do we go to bed at night? Was that third slice of chocolate cake really worth it?
Find behaviors and associations that will feed your time on the mat or meditation cushion -it will generate a positive self reinforcing cycle.
Being a dedicated student of yoga requires ongoing practice, it does not happen all at once. We may fail many times before overcoming our inner obstacles. Teaching yoga gives us a chance to share the techniques with others and in the process, reinforce our commitment and dedication to personal practice. Be a yogi first, a teacher second.
Free Student-Lead Yoga Classes (Practicums)
Come experience these one of a kind classes and support these students and they show off the skills they have learned and blossom into full-fledged teachers!
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Class 1: Our Eternal Thread
Brian, Donna & Nikole
Class 2: The Space Within
Lindsay, Paul, Malina & Ashley
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Class 3: Sun, Earth, Moon
Lynda, Rebecca, Kristine
Class 4: The Yoga Breath & Mind
Haley, Lisa & Monica
Free to the public
3250 E. Sixth Ave. UCC ~ Upstairs