Yoga teachers, are you in a yoga box?
Are you a specialist yoga teacher, or a one-trick pony? Do you teach renowned Power classes because it’s in your skill set – or is it your ONLY skill set? Same with Gentle classes – are you skilled at teaching physically challenging classes as well, or not? It’s natural that when we begin teaching we teach the type of classes that WE enjoy, and the level of physical yoga we feel most comfortable with. And some teachers stay there – always teaching Power never Basic Hatha – or never developing the skills to teach an excellent challenging class. What’s wrong with this?
Nothing, it’s a first level view of teaching yoga. It’s about what the teacher has the skills to teach, likes to teach. Period. We can get stuck here, getting better and better at one skill set and reaching a very defined, narrow student base (people who like the only thing we do).
Next level teaching is realizing that advancement is not doing more of what you are already doing, but also about what you aren’t. Sharing yoga is about meeting all kinds of student’s needs—not teaching what we like and are good at to a select few. Fulfilling work as a yoga teacher comes from opening ourselves, and sharing yoga without labels and boundaries. Not all students do Power, or Gentle, etc. Teachers with a broad skill set bring a “we-are-all-one” perspective to teaching yoga that builds community. Teachers who only serve the needs of one type of student may develop a “those students,” attitude when talking about classes they are inexperienced in teaching. Negative attitudes, judgments toward certain styles of yoga practice can be quite telling. Our identity as yoga teachers is not our own to define when we allow a style, brand, or “this only,” yoga to divide us.
Yoga-out-of-the-Box, in November at Sun Moon Yoga in Mankato is a four-day training included as part of “Wellness & Leadership,” 300hour Yoga Alliance teacher training. Our program encourages an expansive, innovative view of teaching yoga. Not just great one-kind-of-class – not just classes! THINK GREATER. A greater number of people reached – a greater skill set for you as a teacher. We begin in Retreat this October in Okoboji. You do not have to be interested in the program to attend the Retreat. If you are pursuing excellence in teaching yoga I hope to see you there.
PHOTO CREDIT: KEVIN PRIME PHOTOGRAPHY