By Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500
Teaching Yoga is much more than it looks like. Some people see it as teaching asanas, but you are also giving people the tools to live a better quality life. Yoga instructor training courses go over many aspects, but learning to appreciate one’s self might not be in the syllabus. As a Yoga teacher, you might take this for granted, but your students are just learning to forgive themselves.
Too many of us compare ourselves to others. We may think our bodies are inferior or be envious that one of our friends has a better job than we do. Unfortunately, there is no shortage in the ways that we are able to shortchange ourselves. However, the practice of Yoga can help you to look within yourself and find your strengths. After all, you do have them. All you have to do is stop comparing yourself to others and focus on what makes you unique.
Exercise releases endorphins. Those endorphins are what make us feel good. Yoga training can help to release those endorphins. It can also help you to increase your self-awareness. No one is perfect. Accepting that and moving on is the key to becoming more accepting of yourself. As you practice Yoga, you are able to identify your strengths and let go of your weaknesses. What others think of you is no consequence, and as soon as you realize that it feels as if a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
Self-awareness and self-acceptance are two main components of a healthy state of mind. Your Yoga training can help to strengthen those aspects by teaching you to look within instead of looking out for fulfillment. Those negative feelings of feeling “less than” or not good enough are something that almost everybody experiences. It is the way that we deal with those feelings that can help us erase them. Some people try to cover them us by drinking too much, eating too much or just over scheduling themselves so that they can mask those thoughts. But all of that is just a temporary fix. Yoga can help to make those feelings dissipate by replacing them with confidence and calmness.
Life isn’t always perfect, but making a choice to be healthier, physically and emotionally, can often lead to happiness. Practicing Yoga is a way to incorporate a sense of accomplishment and looking within yourself to find that happiness. Letting go of the stress and negative emotions associated with comparing ourselves with others and being happy with who we are is the way to true fulfillment.
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