I still can’t believe how much yoga has grown over the past couple decades. Like anything, with it comes pros and cons. I’m so excited to see so many people benefiting from the practice and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow. Here are a few key points that I believe yoga teachers especially need to take note of to help keep yoga moving forward in a positive direction.
1. Continuing education
I think one of the most important things we, as teachers, need to do to help keep yoga moving forward in a positive direction is be diligent in continuing our learning and personal growth. With more and more information and research coming out, we have a lot of incredible resources out there to help us be more potent in our teaching and our interactions. It’s critical that we are able to infuse the tradition with all that we now know and still remember that sometimes the simplest things we do are the most effective. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel and we also don’t always need research to figure it out.
2. Be mindful of the impact of your words
Our words carry with them a lot of power and influence over our students. We have the opportunity to plant seeds of all sorts and we must be mindful of this. With the world and so much information at our fingertips, it’s important to consider the practice of satya extending into our classes and how we speak about yoga. It doesn’t benefit anyone to make large lofty statements or promises we can’t guarantee. It’s important to be mindful that we speak about yoga in a way that is both accurate with the information we have and that also empowers the student.
3. Avoid fear-mongering
It’s also easy as a teacher to go the opposite way and get caught up in the negative information out there. We must remember that it doesn’t serve anyone to use fear-based tactics, especially when working so intimately within this powerful mind-body network.
4. Accept that you don’t have all the answers
One of the most powerful things I have learned as a teacher is that you don’t have to have all the answers but you must never stop learning and that our job first and foremost is to be of service to our students—period.
In short: remember the power of your words, continue shaping the landscape of your mind, and do your best to be of service to your community. With that in mind we have the potential to work together to shape our future in a positive way.