12 : Namaste

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Namaste. The divine in me honours the divine in you.

Teaching has brought a new light of yoga within me. I did a few reading online and found some tips to help everyone out there under the TTC training.

  • One of the first things most new teachers and apprentices encounter is the difficulty of maintaining their own practice once they begin to teach or assist. Continue a solid home practice during this time, and study with the teacher as often as you can. You will need to understand your style from both sides of the classroom.
  • While your schedule may be in constant flux during this period, it’s very important to make a commitment to your teacher and to your new students. You should be willing to work with your teacher in order to fully absorb all that he/she has to offer. And your commitment needs to be about more than just time: be consistent, show up every week, stay until the very end, and get to know the students you’ll be working with.
  • Always show up before the class 5-10 minutes early. Start by making sure the room is clean and tidy. Try dust-mopping the floor or folding blankets neatly to center yourself. Introduce yourself to the students in the classroom, noting the beginning students and any students with injuries, serious limitations, or physical conditions such as pregnancy.
  • In order to deepen your own understanding of how sequencing works, watch closely as the teacher leads the class from one pose to the next. Try to get a sense of where the sequence might be headed and anticipate the next pose. You should also look for the thread of the teacher’s theme for that class—what is he/she emphasising? Why has he/she explained one thing before the next? What pace and rhythm has he/she set?
  • If you must adjust, watch your student’s eyes and breath, and remind them to breathe and soften their eyes. Really see the student—what experience are they having? How can you support that experience? Your goal is to aid their learning by helping them to succeed in the pose and by keeping them from giving in to his fears or frustrations too soon. Encourage them to do their best. Don’t rob your student of their own experience—let them struggle with the pose a little. One of the most important things you can do is help your student find a middle way, since overdoing and under-doing are both harmful. Above all, don’t insist—ultimately the student should make his own decisions about their practice.
  • When touching a student, be sensitive to their emotional boundaries. Do not caress the student. If you feel that a student doesn’t want to be touched, don’t touch them. Generally, when in doubt, don’t touch. 
  • Keep it simple, Breathe with your students and speak slowly but clearly. Make your instruction more about them than it is about you.
  • Practice the sequence with your body before teaching them. You should know how the sequence feels before you share it.
  • Always be modest. Never undermine anyone.
  • The first few years are hard. You are going to make mistakes and people are going to give you attitude. Try not to be hard on yourself or your students. Learn from your mistakes, trust in the process and know that it gets easier. Be patient—you have years to develop this skill.
  • You will learn libraries of information from your students because they are all different. Don’t be scared or overwhelmed by the knowledge you have to gain because, ultimately, more experiences and more knowledge will make you a better teacher.
  • Thank them for offering you the gift of their presence and their attention. Call them by their names. Make your class a community where you’re all openly learning from each other. Soak it all in and remember that there’s always more to learn.
  • Don’t stop being a student. Take other people’s classes. Attend teacher trainings. Continue to learn. We are students first and foremost. Look at teaching as a way of sharing things that excites you. Continue to feed yourself so you can continue to share.

Ultimately, never forget why you wanted to be a teacher.
Always remind yourself why you chose the path of being a teacher before you enter each class. Remind yourself, i teach yoga because … and continue to radiate that purpose in all classes 🙂

My utmost gratitude to ALL my teachers all these years, i have never forgotten any of their teachings and i look forward to share and spread the knowledge to everyone. 🙂

Namaste.

-J

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