Random Thoughts XVI: A little something for Yoga Teachers in Training.
Posted Mar 03 2009 3:23pm
I wrote this on my Twitwall today, for a couple of YTT (Yoga Teacher Trainers) this morning. I liked it so much that I decided to share it with all of you. Just a little something for people to understand what goes on when you learn how to teach Yoga. You will realize that unlike other schools of learning, when you learn how to teach Yoga, you will come to realize that you are the teacher and the student at the same time. Enjoy this amazing phenomenon. (and besides...I feel really bad not being able to post anything this week...2 jobs will do that to you )
When I was in Yoga Teacher Training, I learned about all these new and wonderous things that amazed me and terrified me at the same time: chakra, kundalini, tantra, etc.
My teachers would talk about these things, especially in relation to the Yoga Sutras. Before going any further, they would always say, "this is NOT for your future students." I would look at them like, "why not? this is great for anyone to learn!" Going deeper into my Teacher Training, I understood why.
Learning about chakras, etc. is for your use because you are no longer at a Beginner Level when you do teacher training. However, unless you're doing a 500 hr. TT, your "demographic" is going to be true beginners - people who don't even want to do asana, much less learn about chakras and kundalini. I guarantee you that if you introduce chakras to someone who knows nothing about Tadasana, they will leave faster than they came in, before you can finish the last "a" in the word chakra.
Then why learn about them then? This was one of the many smart mouth questions that my ego asked inside but my heart knew not to speak out loud.
When you teach, you are providing a service, whether you get paid or not. You are sharing a part of yourself with your students. Teaching classes (even teaching one class) a day can take a lot out of you mentally and emotionally (physically too, if you're teaching more challenging Hatha Yoga styles). Everytime you teach, a bit of prana leaves you and permeates throughout the class, into their bodies.
Learning about chakras, kundalini and the like is a way for you to replenish your prana and conserve it for these times when it is released. You can share and share and share but what happens when you're drained or burned out and you have no more to share? You can't teach nor learn anything.
So it's great to learn new things but at this point in time, you have to separate yourself. You are now the teacher and the student. You are the beginner and the intermediate. You must remember that you are going to teach those who may know nothing. As you teach, you also have to remember that you are a student too (because you learn about your students from each class).
Balance is the key and so is pranayama. Teach a student pranayama properly and their knowledge of the chakras, kundalini, tantra and whatever else will come with ease. Soon, you won't have to tell them anything. They will come to you, asking feverishly for the knowledge you can't wait to impart.
Jai TTs! Om Shanti.
Until next time...stay strong, stay healthy, and fight dis-ease!