By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
What are the secrets of teaching Yoga? What you are about to read applies to teaching, in general. In fact, we are all teachers, to some degree. You teach your friends, co-workers, strangers, and family members on a daily basis. The example you set teaches someone in some way. Whether you are a positive role model, or not, people and the world, react to you. Sorry to say, all of you have more responsibility than you thought possible.
Always be aware that when you hurt one person, it will set a chain of events into motion. Another point to mention is that most violent acts were stimulated by smaller, seemingly unimportant events. When you talk to your students, always show mutual respect. Do not take advantage of your position as a Yoga teacher to temporarily feed your ego.
Are there any special secrets of teaching Yoga? Yes, the energy you bring to class should be positive and highly charged. The first thing a good teacher should instill, in his or her students, is self-motivation. The serious student is usually a self-starter. This is a person who practices Yoga at home, as well as in class. They don’t depend on their friends to come to class, and they show up like “clockwork.” Now that you are encouraging students to become self-starters, you must realize the percentage of truly motivated adults is quite low. That said, you are creating an atmosphere of positive energy.
How can you help your students become self-motivators? You must show up to class early, enthused, and energized. Encourage all of your students and sincerely praise their achievements. The truth is, Yoga is like music, you can teach a student the basics, but for them to reach their highest potential, you want to stir the creativity from within. When your students become innovators, you can help them refine their Yoga training and watch them become motivators. A truly great teacher will produce better teachers, who surpass him or her; and isn’t “passing the torch” what it’s all about?
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