Published on August 12th, 2013 | by Catherine Tingey0
What makes a GREAT YOGA TEACHER?
I’ve attended hundreds of yoga classes and I often think about this.
Beyond a teacher’s cognitive understanding of poses and beyond their physical mastery of the practice, lies a deep, intangible well – a SOURCE – that cannot be taught.
That source is HEART.
Heart encompasses COMPASSION, SOULFULNESS, a sense of ABUNDANCE, and DEEP CARE for your students.
Heart allows you to TRULY SEE YOUR STUDENTS as they are – noticing differences in them from day to day – observing.
Heart allows you to RELINQUISH CONTROL over the room, letting students find their way.
Heart means you recognize YOU ARE MERELY A GUIDE.
Heart obscures ego, allowing you to CREATE SPACE in the room where students feel safe and open to challenge, while remaining vulnerable.
Heart means that you do not take it personally if a student chooses to do their own practice in your class.
If you think back through your life about teachers or people whom you feel fondly towards, it is probably because they touched you in some way. Their humanity touched your humanity.
The Sanskrit ‘Namaste’ literally means ‘I bow to you’ but is often translated as, ‘The light within me salutes the light within you.’
A teacher connected with her own heart recognizes the divinity within, and is able to see that within her students.
One of my favorite teachers, Charlie Samos, told me that he walks around the world remembering one thing about every person he encounters, ‘That person is simply trying their best to be happy.’
This simple acknowledgement instantly connects you to your own humanity, weaving a vast web between you and all the people in the universe.
Try it. It might change your outlook today.
Who inspires you and why? Which activities connect you with your own heart?
I’d love to hear about your favorite teachers, yoga or otherwise!