I’m finally sitting down to start writing about a hot topic that’s been brewing in my head & heart for many years.
Allow me to delve right into the topic of the multi billion, multi currency ‘d (I made that up 😉 ) world of Yoga Teacher Training Certifications vs Guides who have been practising for years & love to share their practise & what it did for them. The ‘ones’ who provide you with a toolbox that you can carry wherever you travel to; some may encourage you to stretch it worldwide. There is such high truth in Pattabhi Jois’ quote stating, ‘Yoga is 99% practise and 1% theory.’
Its my matter of opinion as a teacher & that’s what the student needs you to have. That comes from your self practise. Getting on your mat each day, even when you don’t feel like it and dealing with what arises. Your opinion translates into your experience in the posture, the kriya, the breath. That is your authentic voice during your classes. We have become such a conditioned society relying on others to tell us how to do things, including how to live our lives. NO one can do this work for you. What’s rewarding is that if you do the work your utmost REAL self will shine through and the only way you’ll be able to live is the way YOU want to.
I’d like to share one of my personal experiences that happened just last week in my Sunday 8am morning class @Bhakti Yoga Shala.
A woman walked into the class and was instantly hesitant as she was expecting to receive the class & teacher listed on the website as it had not yet been updated. I could feel her resistance & hesitation to stay. I lightly reassured her that I could work with where she’s at. She stayed and by the end of the session her body released some intense emotions. This woman was so grateful to me & I do appreciate that gratitude but I also believe I was holding something very similar to her which was currently present in my self practise. In her stance of resistance to love & feelings of fear she taught me just as much as I gave her. It’s a cyclical exchange, I don’t work magic alone.
We are the ONES who believe that if we teach what we practise those students who need to hear our message will come. It’s energy right? It’s Yogi Bhajan who said don’t strive for what you want but do this practise & all is coming. That’s a hard nut to swallow when you come from the age of “decide what you want and go for it, no matter what, keep going for it.”
But that was an outer way.
Yogi B is speaking of an inner way. He used to call himself a garbage man cause he liked to help everyone take their garbage out. He sounded like a very wise & humorous man.
When a teacher teaches from their practise the realness shines through with exactly what they’re here to give. As the student you should be experiencing this sense of ,”Wow, this teacher is saying everything I need to hear”. Then you know you’ve found your teacher.
Anyone can pay for the paper. I’ve heard that some certifications never fail anyone and that many students don’t have a practise before joining. Anyways, the stories go on and on and I don’t want my opinion to be yours. I don’t want to sit here slashing the certs either as they do play a role, but practise plays a bigger one. Search. Try many different teachers with many different styles. You will feel and hear their practise through what they are sharing. This is a journey worth taking.
So my sound advice to all you yoga teachers, yoga teachers in training & yoga practitioners is to practise. Practise and the journey will lead you to what is meant for you. Find your voice. Don’t be an echo. That voice comes through practise. If you are seeking a teacher listen to their voice. It will be real to you through all they say & do. Don’t stop searching till you find the voice that speaks to your heart. You may find that more than one teacher speaks to you. Even better. Yoga is Union. Mix it up. Make it multicultural. Your world grows bigger that way.
Through my practise I’ve come to realise that when this passion stirs up in me it’s a sign to share it out there. The consistency of how often the subject keeps arising & how I get so involved in it guides me. The physical sensations are also LOUD. I can feel my body shake, other times it’s the beat of my heart on overdrive or the goose pimples riding up from my toes to my nose. So I learn to listen, then follow.
My advice would be to take all that as a sign people. A sign to follow your heart felt voice as it speaks to you in a language that your body reacts to. Serve it up to the greater good. Something IN there is asking for a way OUT of there. This is practise.
*Thanks for reading & please feel free to share!
Sat Nam Shanti Shanti Namaste