Yoga, Off The Mat.
Online, most teachers are making their presence known from their Instagram videos, photos, stories, etc. There are also many trainings, retreats, and workshops around the world. You’ve probably noticed a new studio pop up in your town every few months — this ancient practice is everywhere- as it should be! Yoga is not all about maintaining “perfect” poses, sponsored gear, brand-name leggings, or anything else within the “yoga industry.” This spiritual practice has a very powerful voice and it’s exciting that it is being heard. Unfortunately, it’s message is often limited to asana, which is only 1 of 8 limbs of yoga.
Although Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda brought the ancient teachings over from India before Iyengar was even an inkling in his body, the practice of yoga asana in the US is often misunderstood as the full practice of yoga. Yoga came from India to Hollywood because of a woman named Ingrid who studied under B.K.S. Iyengar and she wanted to invite the Western World to the Eight Limbs Of Yoga. Coming to Hollywood, the physical benefits mostly attracted women. So not only did it come off as a ‘girl’s thing to do’, asana has been misunderstood in the mainstream for a while. It is time to re-educate the masses and share the teachings of yoga beyond stretching. This technique traveled far and wide to come to offer peace to those who really need it most! What Can You Do As A Teacher? If you’re already a teacher or thinking of becoming a teacher, it is a beautiful time to become a beacon of light for those who truly need it. As an instructor, just continue to educate yourself and reflect that education into those around you. As a yoga community, it is important that we share the teachings as authentically as possible, and open people into their own truths. The best way to share this is through love and communication. You also might want to look into reaching out to your community more by offering free classes, dharma talks, or meditation circles where you end the practice with a nice philosophy discussion!
Some nice activities you can do are:
And more! Get creative with your offerings and people will always respond to an offering from the heart!
All of these activities offer people space needed to completely open up and become vulnerable with their owns lives. But it’s very important for you as a teacher to do the same and come from a place of vulnerability. When we just show the glamorous and flashy side, people get this idea in their heads that yoga is all about looking good in sponsored leggings, when really there is such a deep and beautiful spiritual journey waiting to unfold!
Always choose love and remember that you are the torch of fire in this world, never let your flame die out!