Friday, April 29, 2016

Teaching Yoga: Thinking Like a Beginner

By Sangeetha Saran

Any teacher comes to a place in our practice where we sometimes forget what it was to be a beginner. The fear, excitement, and anticipation - It was all new, and maybe we weren't sure it was even going to stick. Maybe we experimented for a while, and came back later. The truth is, it doesn't really matter how it happened. We didn't know that we were about to embark on a journey that would forever change us to our cores. We know now that yoga is not simply a physical practice. It's physical, emotional, and spiritual; Yoga is holistic and it can touch so many areas of one's life. Yoga is a lifestyle choice.

Unless we take the time to actively reflect on how that felt, how it felt to be clueless, it can become frustrating to instruct new yoga students who are still figuring it out. I'm sure everyone has had that one student, but really, whom has everything figured out? Don't forget where you started, be gentle, and use your passionate peacefulness to inspire others. Don't forget about why you began this practice, and no, I'm not talking about when your best friend dragged you in to her yoga class. Why did you stay? Why did you come back? What motivated you to make a change?

Change is hard. Change is scary. Changing your whole lifestyle is harder and scarier. Be gentle with new students who are just beginning. They may need a "first" yoga class six times over. You never know how hard it was for someone to begin his or her first session. It may have taken much more courage than you can see. Gentle inspiration will always go farther than irritated intimidation.

Get in the practice of beginning every session in that mindset. Others can always feel your mood and energy in the room. Do you emanate peace, serenity, and inspiration? Or can the others around you sense that you've forgotten why you're here?

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about." ~ By Wendy Mass 

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