On Teaching

Until a couple of months ago I had not stepped into a ‘teacher’ role for 24 years. Back then I was inexplicably chosen to teach football to some junior members of my college. If you have ever seen me play football, you would understand why I use the word inexplicable.

Over the last few weeks, I have taken the time to mull over the idea of teaching. I had originally started YTT with the idea this was a yoga course, as though the teaching angle was a mere after-thought. I have quickly realised that the teaching element is arguably as important as the Asanas.

It was only 18 months ago that I stepped into a yoga studio with any great purpose. Being a relative beginner in my practice (aren’t we all relative beginners in Yoga really?), I find it easy to think back at those first few awkward classes. To think back at those teachers that nurtured and grew what would become a passion. What attributes did they have and what attributes would I like to take forward as a Yoga teacher? Secondly, I wanted to cast my mind beyond Yoga and beyond Teaching. What else could I bring to increase my student’s enjoyment and fulfilment in class.

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. a) Awareness. Yoga teaches us many great lessons about awareness of the self and the environment. I want to always be aware of my students, to understand their different levels. To engage all students in class, from the beginner to the most advanced.
  2. b) Laughter. We all attend Yoga for different reasons but I believe we have a common goal in wanting to enjoy each and every class. I want every student to leave a little happier, a little more engaged.
  3. c) Learning. Life is a constant education. I would like all my attendees, regardless of ability, to leave having learnt something. To have the understanding that not all learning in this manner might be Asana technique based. And equally as important, as a teacher, to learn myself from every class, from every student.

Finally, since this is a blog on teaching I wanted to give a big Thank You to my teachers: Paalu and Wei Ling. You are magnificent!

Alex W.

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