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Teaching Hatha Yoga: What is Normal?

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Aug 17, 2007
Do people puzzle you sometimes? When you think you have heard it all, someone comes up with a "new spin" on an old idea. When you teach Yoga techniques for a healthy mind, body, and spirit; are you trying to help your students reach a normal state? If that is your goal, you may just frustrate yourself and confuse your Yoga students in the process.

The fact is: Yoga teachers should help students improve their lives, but the goals are really up to the students. You can teach goal setting skills, but a Yoga student has his or her own idea of what is normal and what the ultimate goal is.

Many Yoga teachers have a preconceived notion about which kind of behavior is acceptable within their Yoga class. When you trained to become a Yoga teacher, you listened to lectures about Yoga teacher ethics. You learned about what you could and should not do, when teaching a Yoga class. Later, you signed a Yoga teacher ethics agreement.

Then one day, a Yoga student displays behavior that is not in the "text books." Is that normal? Well, it seems normal to him or her, but you have to be calm and keep your Yoga class as organized as possible.

No one can prepare you for every unexpected situation and life does not go in harmony with the best prepared plans. If you are commuting, by car, to teach your next Yoga class, and you are delayed by an auto accident, or a mechanical break down, your priorities have changed instantly. You are not in control of this situation and all you can really do is "damage control."

Therefore, we cannot count on a Yoga class, or life, to be normal. Earth quakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, death, and behavior are very hard to predict. All a Yoga teacher can do is help one person, one student, or one Yoga class at a time.

Discard any ideas about what is normal. The universe, Yoga students, and life are constantly changing. As Yoga teachers, we must react to unforeseen problems, when they occur. Preparation does prevent hesitation, but you cannot prepare for infinite situations.

If a student has a heart attack, in your Yoga class, your swift and even-tempered reaction is all that really matters. It also helps if you have current CPR training and certification, but reaction time is crucial.

Remember this: Expect the unexpected, react calmly to every possible situation, and do not lose sleep over situations that you cannot control.

© Copyright 2006 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard is director of Yoga teacher training at Aura in RI. He's a master instructor of martial arts and Yoga. He teaches that along with fitness. He wrote: Is Running a Yoga Business Right for You? For Yoga students who want to be a teacher.

http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org
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