On the first day of the advanced yoga training module I took recently, Anatomy & Physiology with Free Life People School of Yoga (now Yoga Project School of Yoga), we were asked a couple loaded questions right off the bat:
What is yoga? How do you teach it?
Each of us excitedly spent some time journaling, crafting our answers with too many words, and then we went around sharing. I could share with you what my answer said but it would be pointless because it probably said exactly what you imagine it said.
Over the course of this eight day program, I was challenged, mostly, to check in with myself. Sure, we learned all about bones, muscles, breathwork, meditation, common injuries and how to work with them, assisting, and lots more, but that was the icing on the cake. After the training was over, we were astounded at how our answers had shifted. And simplified, though we had learned so many new tools for teaching yoga.
My final answer on the last day of training: “I teach yoga by embodying it.”
I realized my ability to show up for my students is directly related to my commitment to showing up for myself. Meditation practice was a huge and unexpected part of this training, and probably the most powerful part for me. I have actually stayed committed to a morning meditation practice because of it and am experiencing the daily benefits of self-observation mainly in the form of more awareness of my own tendencies… I find myself having moments of noticing what I’m doing as if I’m standing across the room watching myself. It’s wild! This practice helps me SEE MYSELF in a real, raw way. It’s an ongoing CHECK IN, so that I don’t CHECK OUT.
So, yoga teachers, how do you teach yoga? How do you LIVE your yoga?
WE MUST LEARN TO TEACH BY BEING.
Also known as walking your talk. As yoga teachers, we are always talking about going inward, self-care, “being the change,” but are we doing this ourselves?
YOGA IS A LIFESTYLE. It’s not about the poses. The poses are a vehicle to practice mindfulness, which draws us into the NOW by experiencing concrete breath and body sensation. But there are eight limbs of yoga! Asana (posture) is only one!
And that is exactly what Stacy & Dave Dockins teach in their programs. The teaching journey is a journey of the self, first and foremost. The anatomy and physiology and class sequencing and all that jazz are our tools as yoga teachers – they help us create moments of awareness in our students, but the ultimate journey is within YOU.
Are you a 200 hour yoga teacher ready to advance toward your 500 hour certification? Check out Free Life People School of Yoga, I am so thrilled to complete the remaining two modules for my 500 hour certification within the next year. There are three trainings total, each 100 hours and about a week long. If you’re looking for a unique & powerful experience that will enrich your teaching and your LIFE, look no further! One of the many unique aspects of FLP trainings is the live practice teaching that happens from day one. It is very hands on and empowering. Thank you, Stacy & Dave, my life has been greatly enriched by your presence and I am forever grateful!
“Honor the uniqueness of YOU. When practicing yoga, it is vital that YOU be the ultimate guide of your practice. Each one of us has a unique body which carries its own history. This has a profound effect on your overall experience. Listen to what your teachers offer to you, then embody it… feel it… be curious… listen to your inner knowing. Only YOU know what you are feeling.” ~Stacy Dockins @txyogastacy @theyogaprojectstudios
For a full list of upcoming trainings, visit www.yogaproject.com.