In my early years as a teacher, I attended numerous yoga teacher trainings and retreats, and at each of these events, I made friends. These fellow yoga teachers and I trained together, were roommates at retreats, and constantly practiced and talked about what we learned. After six hours of learning on our mats, we’d stand around the kitchen cooking while reviewing the day’s teachings.
These are the friends I still message almost daily, catch up with by phone on Saturdays, and, when we can, meet-up with at retreats and seminars. These friends inspire me to be a better yoga teacher and to keep up my own yoga practice.
As a yoga teacher, having people on the path alongside you as mentors, accountability partners, and friends is helpful for so many reasons. Here are just a few:
Minimize feeling alone
Being a yoga teacher is not an easy road. Burnout, competition, and difficulty standing out are real struggles. Rather than carrying this burden all by yourself, a friend who is in the same situation can listen, ask questions, brainstorm solutions, and relate to you. That can make all the difference.
Enhance your understanding of yoga
Yoga teachings are vast and yoga philosophy is not a simple endeavor. These days, discussion of philosophy in class is often absent or lacking context. It makes all the difference to have someone with whom you can compare notes, discuss recent readings, and soundboard ideas for class themes. And having this consistent pursuit of improvement will set you apart from the rest in terms of how you share your practice.
Help you evolve as a person
My yoga friends have served as mirrors to reflect back to me who I am, what I’m good at, and what traits of mine are annoying enough that they demand I change! I have never grown as quickly as I have in community with others on the path.
Make you a wiser, better yoga teacher
As you experience more and more trainings and retreats in the company of those who “get it,” those who know you, and those who challenge you to be your best, you’ll be better able to share these talents with your students, and your classes will be better for it.