It’s been over 10 years since I completed my first teacher training. We have learned a lot about the human body, both physical and subtle. Names, shapes, approaches, modifications of asana, some philosophy, mantras, the history of Yoga. There was very little spoken about the actual job itself (being a Yoga teacher).
Topics, such as co—operation with other teachers, what does it mean to work in a community, how to run a studio are not taught in any teacher training I have ever taken. I wish they were…
There are very few platforms where we can learn about this job. The Victoria Yoga Conference is one of those.
I’m taking part in the Conference for the second time this year. I see this as an opportunity of co—operation, to learn from each other as many ways as possible.
While preparing to meet you and other colleagues there, I feel inspired to share my dream and reasons why I chose this profession.
I knew as a young person that we all have a dharma. Of course I did not call it as such, but I felt that my role on this planet is important. That I wasn’t just born by a chance of wind, to eat, drink, sleep and die at the end…
I felt that I have a “mission” to accomplish. This particular mission is neither more important or more complicated than any other people’s missions. We all have our own dharma, they are all unique and perfect as they are.
Becoming a Yoga teacher was never a dream or “the goal” of mine, but it became the “tool” to accomplish my dharma, which is to better the world around me. By lifting up one person at a time. One breath, one spine, one smile at a time. If I asked a 100 other yoga teachers why they do what they do, I bet most of them would feel the same way. We all chose this profession because we want to help.
In the process however, I find we often get captured by the competitive nature of the world around us. In a reality where there is a yoga studio on every corner, it is easy to become fearful and loose one’s original intentions.
We may forget sometimes that we are in this TOGETHER. We all want the same for our community and ultimately for the world.
Here I am today, celebrating the fact that this conference exists, and kindly offer a few more ways for your consideration.
5 easy steps to build community among us, yoga teachers:
- Take each other’s classes. Don’t be afraid to learn something new. The 200 or 500 hours of training is just a drivers license. The real learning happens out there… Go for it. Remain curious and ask as many questions as possible.
- Ask for feedback from a senior teacher. I love when a senior teacher comes to take my class. Even if we never met before, I kindly ask them to take my class with curiosity and an open mind to support my improvement. I take any feedback from them gladly, and apply most of the things I learned. After all, they have more experience than me.
- Invite guest teachers, (offer to sub, cover or swap classes). As a studio owner, I like to invite visiting teachers to sub or cover some classes. It’s an absolute win-win. The students see a new face and learn new things. I’m not even worried about how “good” of a teacher they are. Are they amazing? great! we all learned something new. Are they brand new and maybe not so amazing yet? Oh well… the students will appreciate their regular teachers more.
- Share on advertising and prop cost. Business cards are cheaper when you order more. Websites have many pages, we don’t all need a separate website. Props should be used, shared, loved and not just stored in separate spaces… Think about it. I’m sure you will find a way to share.
- Attend events together. Offer ride sharing to the Yoga Conference. Take courses from the same senior teacher and discuss it over coffee. Learn, learn, and learn some more. The more you learned the more you will trust that on the path of yoga there is no competition.
The stronger we become in our practice the less we fear. And real strength is measured by generosity and humble co-operation.
On this journey I am with you, and therefore I’m grateful.