By Kimaya Singh
Before discussing tips on becoming a Yoga master, we must ascertain what we mean by such an honorary title. When is one a Yoga master? Should they teach one thousand hours or twenty thousand hours before acquiring such a title? Some alpha numeric designations don’t really do justice to the Gurus who have taught over ten thousand hours.
Hatha Yoga is just one of the nine main Yoga styles. Currently, there are a wide-variety of Hatha Yoga teacher training programs available to aspiring Yoga teachers throughout the world. Many of these programs offer a 500 hour professional level “master” Yoga teacher certification. Most 500 hour graduates have only 100 hours of teaching under their belts. There are teachers with decades of teaching experience. Should we have a designation for grandmaster if someone has been teaching for more than 50 years?
At this level, you are supposedly considered to be a professional “Yoga Master.” However, classically speaking, a Yoga master is an individual who was venerated by householders and sages alike, for being “self-realized” and permanently steeped in the awareness of the all-pervasive experience of God’s love within his or her own heart.
A true Guru, Swami, or Yoga master does not present him or herself as such, instead the yogi or yogini’s level of accomplishment would be evident through his or her behavior, understanding, speech and affect on other people. According to Indian tradition, a true Yoga master would also be a disciple of a long lineage of authentic Yoga masters, stretching far back in time, even as far back as Shiva. A true Yoga master would also usually have a group of dedicated initiates following his or her teachings.
If you aspire to become a true Yoga master, you must embrace and nurture the divine qualities within yourself. Qualities such as love, compassion, dignity, truthfulness and purity of action. You must also live your life in an honorable and dharmic way. In order to truly elevate and uplift the people around you, you must first be imbued with divine grace and the constant remembrance of the divine love that permeates all reality.
As a Yoga master, when you walk into a room, just your presence will uplift the people around you. In order to stay in such a great state, you must stay strongly connected to the divine source energy within you. In order to accomplish this goal, it is of paramount importance to maintain a daily sadhana practice of meditation, contemplation, pranayams, kirtan, and Yoga asanas. The more connected and aligned you are with your own divine nature, the more you will be able to inspire and uplift the people around you.
Becoming a Yoga master is not about precision in difficult Yoga asanas. To bear the honorary title of Yoga master, you must first be in a constant state of remembrance of God. Ultimately, your journey to becoming a Yoga master is a journey of learning to love unconditionally. Not just others, but yourself as well.
As you become permanently steeped in divine love and serenity, your presence will automatically elevate and uplift, not only your Yoga students, but all those with whom you come into contact only a daily basis. Only then will you be worthy of the title, “Yoga Master.”
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