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i find many yoga teachers are quite cold in spirit (elitism?) this to me is no way the Indian yogic attitude. i don't care if you are bendy wendy, i just want a kind, open person. this to me only respects the teachings.


i appreciate the thoughts conveyed in this article, i only wish we could go a step beyond it. elitism truly isn't a helpful thing, and teachers who seperate their class persona from their life persona are generating an unhelpful, untruthful, situation.

but let's consider these issues delt with, we all appreciate we should remain true to who we are, flaws and all, in everything we do. full transparency as much as the person feels comfortable with.

then what? then can we start a more sincere discussion on why we feel the need to buy coffee from an unethical mulit-national? why we feel penned in to having stimulants to help us through the day? why we feel the need to drink alcohol to be able to let go enough to relax and enjoy ourselves, and why we have to get this alcohol through establishments which are more interested in profit and appearance than world peace?

we all have flaws, so i feel step one is to embrace them, and step two is to move beyond them as best we can. i only wish we would all (myself included) get a move on through step one to get to the real work.

Lisa D

I'm very suspicious and uncomfortable around any kind of elitism - whether in yoga, in a university, at a church, etc. The problem stems from dividing people into us vs. them, into right vs. wrong. The world is never that simple.


Excellent article. It was a bit of a lengthy journey for me as a Yoga teacher but pretty much made it to the laughter and letting go part.....Most stuff is just not that big of a deal...
Letting those big expectations go is another example of Yoga on the mat and yoga off the mat.
Beautifully verbalized-thank you.


I am not sure what to make of this article. Maybe because I live in Seattle, where drinking coffee isn't considered a sin. The woman who came by and judged the teacher with the large cup of coffee? In the wrong. Really, I agree that teachers do get put on pedestals, but sometimes TEACHERS put themselves there by acting holier than thou.

Veena Grover RYT.

yoga teacher has to be honest,natural & sincere.playing games,causes stress. It is good to be careful & maintain your moral standard & character.If people are there to judge you or your character, they are not your friends or dedicated students.A good teacher act as a good role model & teach with discipline.Above article is wonderful & make sense about being a good teacher,one does not need to be diplomat.


Great article.
Another similar article from Elephant Journal focused on the pedestal we find ourselves on as yoga teachers.
I found this really interesting and helpful:


Thank you very much for this article. It is indeed helpful for everyone one practising yoga, not just teachers. I think there is often confusion in this respect, and so many people have stereotyped ideas of how yoga teachers should to behave. Such judgement and expectations have very little to do with the principle of Ahimsa. I feel that keeping Yama and Yama in mind in our daily life is already a great help, and we don't find stereotyped golden cages there, but just deep respect.
I do believe that practising yoga does mean to be in the flow of life, and this is much more challenging than retreating from the flow! Thank you again.


Beautiful article..!!


I am a new yoga teacher and this article makes excellent points. We may be teachers and that does put us in the position of a role model, however we are also human, just like our students. I recently had a student comment that it was nice to see a teacher who is not endlessly flexible and amazingly strong: while teaching boat pose, I explained that we were doing a modified version as I am not currently able to come into the full pose due to injury, and that I would not feel right attempting to teach what I myself cannot do.

I appreciate that this article touches on the fact that often people's reaction to finding out you teach yoga often runs along the belief that you must be such a relaxed, stress-free person. I myself do yoga because I am very easily stressed and easily agitated. Because I am a regular person just like my students, trying to find my right place in life, and I teach so that I can share the benefits I have experienced, nothing more and nothing less.

Be real. Be here. Just be.

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