Teaching Through Tough Times
Learn how to use your personal challenges to find your authentic voice, fortify your teachings, and inspire your students.
Tips for Teaching During Tough Times
In the face of trauma, even the most seasoned teachers can feel unsure of how to move forward. Ippoliti offers the followingtips to keep in mind while teaching during your most difficult times:
- If you have lost a loved one, dedicate the class to their specific virtues and acknowledge how every life leaves blessings behind for us all to bathe in. Use the opportunity to explore the idea of living fully now and guide students to consider the powerful legacy they might also want to leave behind.
- If you have been betrayed, consider how yoga philosophy and deeper self-awareness could have been applied to prevent the betrayal, and teach your class the virtues of truth, friendship, integrity, and making life-affirming choices.
If you are going through a crisis, teach that the only constant in life is change, and that from crisis always comes opportunity.
Take time in private to cry, grieve, and feel your experience fully.
Make very sure you have an outlet for anger, disappointment, and hurt so that your students never have to be your therapists. Reach out to peers, counselors, and your teachers for support.
Throughout, no matter how you are feeling inside, resist wishing your experience away. Trust that by feeling it deeply and sharing it honestly with others greater openness, happiness, and freedom await you. When this happens, there is no division between practicing yoga and living your life.
"Yoga and life cannot be separated—they exist simultaneously," Sanford says. "Teaching and practicing through difficult times is part of grounding this realization."
Sara Avant Stover is a freelance writer and yoga instructor based in Boulder, Colorado. She teaches both locally and internationally, through both blissful and tough times. Visit her website www.fourmermaids.com.
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