Since time immemorial, Yoga has been a Philosophy+Methodology that has attracted people seeking answers to life’s eternal questions. Whilst many systems have provided solace including religions, philosophies, and so on…Yoga has always attracted those people who are innately Rebels. People who wouldn’t accept anyone else’s understanding of life and would rather experience things themselves! So, has the fact that Yoga is today a mainstream pop-culture phenomenon changed that? Does Yoga still attract those free-thinkers, or has it been irreversibly reduced to just another Fitness Class on the roster?
To answer this, one would have to first ask – are the modern torch-bearers of Yoga, the Yoga Teachers, still passionate and fiery when it comes to their own journey? Or has the ubiquitous Yoga TTC made it all too accessible for anyone desiring to become a Teacher?! When something gets so mainstream – (someone recently spoke of Yoga as one of the modern world’s Universal languages) – does it still maintain its quality? Food for thought indeed. And in case you are considering Teacher Training in Yoga; you’ve got to answer these 3 questions and if it’s a Yes for all, well, then we’re looking for you!
Are you #Rebel enough to actually become a Yoga Teacher?
You ought to be, cause Yoga belongs to those who don’t believe. Yogis have always sought first-hand experience and not passed-on knowledge.
Are you #Growth-oriented?
Cause that’s what it’s all about….your growth! You are looking to discover who you are and that means growing in that knowledge everyday. If you’re not, then you’re wasting your time in Yoga.
Are you #Crazy enough to aspire to experience Enlightenment?
Yes, part of the thrill of embarking on your journey of Yoga has always been to experience what the Great Ones have described. Of course Yoga might help you get Fit, Healthy and de-Stressed; but are you that person who won’t be satisfied with just these benefits….and wants to taste something more?
By the way, what qualities should a good Yoga Teacher possess…..here’s what I think. I’ve taught over 14,000 yoga classes, and observed countless good and great Teachers and thereby tried to understand my craft better.
3 Qualities that make a good Yoga Teacher
As I prepare myself to teach students the finer aspects and philosophy behind Yoga; as well as try to impart some of my experience over the years, I find myself mulling over the idea of what makes a good Yoga Teacher? Of course, there are too many good and great Yoga teachers in the world to find any definite set of qualities they all possess. And, there are so many styles of Yoga – each demanding a different set of qualities and motivating capabilities from the teacher. Having said that, it’ still interesting to note what could be a good factor in making a good teacher. I’ve developed an idea that 3 qualities are very important – of which 2 are fixed for me and the 3rd keeps changing as I keep learning and teaching more and more.
1) RESPECT for Yoga:
This should be obvious for any Teacher and perhaps one of the most important reasons that we chose to become Teachers in the first place. However, I would like to elucidate mainly for those who may be starting of their journey into becoming Yoga teachers.
As a Yoga Teacher; every time that I teach a class, I honour my own Teacher and the vast numbers of great Yogis who have discovered, developed and passed on the science of Yoga over the millennia! If I’m teaching a class; it’s never Manish is teaching a class – but I always try to remind myself that I am standing there because thousands of Yogis before me have spent lifetimes devoted to understanding themselves and thereby creating Yogic practices. So, I represent a very rich tradition that is kept alive through all our efforts as teachers and students.
We should try not to take our Class; the Yoga we teach, our Students and importantly Ourselves for granted! It is our privilege and duty to introduce our students to the best of what Yoga has to teach. Their own journeys will take them further – but we play an important role in introducing the Science to them.
Enough said about Respect!
2) SERVICE, SERVICE, SERVICE
As a Yoga Teacher, I’m there in a class to Serve my students. My Life has been blessed by the practice of Yoga; and it is then my priority to teach my students in the best manner possible so that they may experience some of the Peace that Yoga gives. Yes, I’m a Teacher and Yes, I’m supposed to Serve my students.
When students are new, we have to introduce them to Yoga. When students are doing well, they need to be guided further and when they stop their practice then we need to go out of our way to invite them back into class.
Service does not mean pleasing our students. Definitely, not! It means teaching them what they NEED.
I strongly believe that between RESPECT for Yoga and SERVICE; we will be able to strike the right chord with each of our students. The 3rd Quality keeps changing for me – from Compassion to Knowledge to Motivation and so on. Right now, my 3rd Quality that I seek to have to make a good teacher is actually, HUMOUR!
- MANISH POLE (Yoga Teacher, Writer+Speaker, co-Founder of Total Yoga)