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Yoga in Practice - Teaching Yoga With Humility

Paul M. Jerard Jr.
Jul 18, 2008
Yoga has similarities to many other philosophies in regard to humility. However, Gurus and Swamis traditionally chose their students. In fact, much like traditional martial arts students, Yoga students traditionally saw training with their teacher as a privilege. Prospective students would seek out a Yoga teacher, begging to be accepted for instruction.

Now, we have the age of entitlement. No matter how many signs you put up, cell phones ring off in Yoga classes. No matter how many rules you have, a small number of students continue to break old rules and create new ones. If you hand the studio policies to a new student, you may hear, "Why do you have so many rules?"

After all, you posted them on the web site, your bulletin board, and now you take time for the orientation of each new student. Why do you have to explain each "for instance?" Sometimes, you may ask yourself, "What was my main objective, when I decided to become a Yoga teacher?"

Back to reality: Most of us decided to teach Yoga because we felt the positive benefits of a steady practice. As a result, we wanted to share the gift of Yoga instruction with others. Creating rules about taking a bath, taking your shoes off, and how to be respectful to others, is not part of what Yoga teacher interns envision.

Then, one day, a new student shows up to class, but he may never have taken a bath in this lifetime. You may have read about this, but you have never been in the presence of an aroma like this before. Thoughts begin to run through your mind, and you are going to teach a class in ten minutes.

What exactly is that? You could speculate on how long that aroma has aged. What are you going to do? You have other students and this person is wearing "student repellant." This is surely a "lose-lose" situation. Do you have a rule made up for this?

This is one situation, of many, in which your Yoga teacher training may not have prepared you. Sometimes, you may have to turn a student away. There is no need for conflict, if a student is not a "good fit;" you have the right to refuse to teach him or her.

This is much similar to the way students "shop around," if they do not like something about you, or your classes. You can be assertive without being guided by ego. Develop your skills to lead, motivate, and direct Yoga students, with compassion and tolerance.

Copyright 2008 - Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
About the Author
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, is a co-owner and the director of Yoga teacher training at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/member-offer.html
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