Teaching Yoga Has Never Been Easy

DEDICATED TO MR PAALU (THE MOTIVATOR) and MISS SATYA WEILING (THE EDUCATOR) and to all Aspiring yogis from Tirisula Yoga School. OM

Lets  remind ourselves that yoga teachers are people too (it’s the truth!), and they have all the burdens and financial responsibilities that we and everyone else in this modern world have. So us yoga teachers, if we want to put food in the mouths of our children and a roof over their heads too, still have to run a viable business, just like everyone else.
That’s fair enough, right?
That means that yoga teachers have to follow all the same principles of business success that everyone else does right?  … and every business owner, whatever their industry, knows that long term success rests on creating happy, repeat customers, right?
Put it this way. If I were a disposable razor company, I would be competing with other disposable razor companies to make the best darn disposable razor possible, wouldn’t I? The problem is that it can’t be too good!  After all, I don’t want my customers to never need another razor!
But is that really the right attitude for a yoga teacher to have? “I want to be a good teacher, but not so good that you’ll never need me anymore?”

In fact, that attitude, and it is more prevalent in the modern yoga world than we might think because it is the underlying attitude of the modern business world, not only hurts so many sincere, aspiring yoga students, but it ends up killing a yoga teacher’s business, not helping it to grow and flourish!
With the logic that you only give your customers enough to keep them coming back, teaching people how to do yoga on their own, at home, would most certainly lead to the eventual demise of a teacher’s livelihood. … right? But let me tell that this fear is completely irrational. In fact, it is an assumption, that is just plain wrong! When our students grow, through our instruction and guidance, into practitioners of yoga who have the knowledge, wisdom and experience to practice yoga on their own, they will NOT disappear! In fact, they will become even more dedicated to us because we have proven to them that we are indeed a GREAT TEACHER.

It means that they will keep sending new students our way! Swami Gitananda used to tell people that his aim was not to create perpetual students, but to create eventual yogis! And he did!  Yet as he sent knowledgeable, confident yogis, one after the other back out into the world, he continued to have an endless flood of new students. … Tens of thousands of them!But what if we’re not a Great Guru, or even a really good teacher for that matter … at least not yet anyway? Then teach what we can, as best as we can, to students who can benefit from our current level of knowledge and experience. Above all else, keep studying hard, practicing and growing! Our students don’t need us to be an enlightened master. But if they see us living what you are teaching, and if they see us growing and transforming as time goes by, then they will continue to follow us, and they will encourage others to follow us too!
Unfortunately, most teachers do not approach their yoga classes from this perspective. In fact, most yoga teachers have been trained to run classes which are not geared towards teaching their students how to practice yoga on their own at all.
But they should! Learning how to help our students “learn to practice yoga” is an essential skill that a good yoga teacher must have. Do we want to have students who think that we are an amazing yoga teacher? Do we want to have students who recommend us to others time and time again?Then help them to gain the knowledge, the ability, the confidence and the experience to properly practice yoga, on their own.
Help them to NOT NEED YOU anymore.If we do, then they’ll be more dedicated to us than ever before!
Simply put , positivity increases when it is distributed with selflessness.

Lord Shiva Said:  “Those who are instructed by a knower of Truth, they become knowers of Truth… Those who are instructed by beasts are known to become beasts themselves.”
~ Shiva Puranam

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