What does it mean to teach Yoga?

Having been active most of my life and as a dancer, I’ve been blessed with teachers who go beyond the dance as a movement and performing art to teach me invaluable values and principles in life. I have in some capacity trained others in dance and functional capacity and have imagined teaching yoga to be similar –  be good at postures, both in terms of physically attaining the postures and the theoretical aspects of the postures (which muscles are engaged, how to safely practice the postures, variations, breath, benefits) and the ability to teach should come naturally.

Yet as I learn more about yoga and more specifically teaching yoga, I’ve come to realise that it was so much more than that. There is an incredible amount of information that a yoga teacher is capable of sharing and it goes way beyond the physical and emotional aspects in instructing most sports.

This was best captured in “Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship” by Donna Farhi who countered “in what other profession must one take into account the physical, psychological, physiological, emotional, and spiritual condition of an individual, and speak to all these dimensions in the course of teaching?”

 This realisation has opened me up to the wondrous and world of possibilities in teaching yoga, but simultaneously, the responsibilities a yoga teacher bear not just in the studio but outside of the studio.

As Master Sree constantly reminds us through his classes “(he is) learning together with us”, that is how I now envision what it means to teach.

 

The best and only way to teach would be to practice what I teach.