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New York Times : Unconventional Twist in Yoga : Younger Teachers

Posted Sep 12 2008 3:57pm

08yoga190 There is an article in today's New York Times regarding a new generation of yoga instructors who are instructing people their parent's age.

As the yoga boom continues in the United States, the demand for teachers has accelerated, meaning that many have not followed the traditional path of decades of study and the slow acquisition of gravitas.

Whether a teacher's age matters is debated among practitioners. Unlike a purely physical exercise like Spinning , many kinds of yoga also emphasize a practitioner's growth : accepting oneself, learning to view life without fear or fantasy , cultivating patience.

Discerning students who are committed to their practice feel a teacher should be a wellspring of inspiration about how best to live. They need not be a spiritual sage. What clients often want is a teacher who is " one rung ahead in life experience , the feeling that a person has weathered difficult situations and is emitting some calm and grace gives you some touchstone of how to do it yourself. "

Students - at least those in the bigger yoga markets - can tell who is genuine , Shiva Rea said. " You can't fake it, " she added . " In LA and New York, no one is going to come to your class. It's as simple as that ."

I concur with Shiva Rea. At the end of the day, whether one is a young or ancient guru, it is the amount of light that emanates from a teacher that matters. Perhaps as a result of graduating from the school of hard knocks or accumulated good karma -

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