• To Identify as a student of yoga in all areas of my life— not just on the mat

Those who take yoga off the mat and live a life in harmony with the planet are those who make the best yoga teachers. Yoga is more than just a physical practice it’s a way of being. The philosophy of yoga can teach us great things about ourselves, and those who choose to take that path into teacher training will have the opportunity to delve deeper into this vast subject.

  • To embrace an attitude of being continually open to learning, understanding my own energy and a sensitivity to other peoples boundaries

Life itself is always changing and evolving, yoga teaches us to be in harmony with this movement and not to attach to anything. We each have personal thoughts and opinions that have shaped us on the journey so far, but very little we know of is absolutely certain.

It’s always good to be open to new possibilities and the opinions of others, to learn from each other and practice compassion for those around us. We are all the star of our own personal movie, it is important to remember that every individual is on a different, totally unique journey of their own.

  • To have a spiritual practice, even if that’s simply an appreciation of nature, or anything beautiful

I didn’t really understand what spirituality meant before I found yoga. I always had this vague inkling that there was something more to life than our physical bodies but that’s as far as it went. I assumed Spirituality was tied to religion in some way and I would often proudly announce myself an atheist. I had no idea that the physical practice of yoga would open up a spiritual practice in the way it did.

First of all the practice brought awareness to the fact that I had quite negative internal dialogue going on in my head 24/7, I learned that paying attention to that chatter is both a habit and a choice and that I could, in fact, change the story. Once that happened it was like my whole world opened up. I was able to appreciate the beauty of the world around me, rather than be consumed by my internal struggles. Yoga is quite magical like that, it encourages us to shift the focus towards an energy bigger than ourselves allowing us to appreciate the beauty in simple things. It taught me to get out of my own head and quite literally move into my body. Which leads me to my next point and my non-negotiable…..

  • A regular yoga practice

A regular yoga practice is essential to be being a great teacher. The comment misconception is that as yoga teachers we practice all the time. I often hear, “Wow, you’re a yoga teacher, you must be super fit and flexible from all that yoga” when in reality, many teachers lose their yoga practice because they are teaching too much, and are too tired or burnt out from teaching others.

I certainly struggled at the beginning with making sure I found time for my own yoga, but it’s so important. Not only to remain strong and flexible in body but also in mind. Getting out of our own heads, leaving our own problems, worries, anxieties at the door is helpful so that we can really be there for our students. Anyone that has a regular yoga practice will know that each class is different from one day to the next, so being in the present moment, being aware of such fluctuations in the mind is a big part of letting go. Over time, the more we can let go of our own suffering the more we can truly be there for those around us, not just for our students but also everyone we come into contact with.

The other common misconception is that yoga is simply a physical practice when in fact it’s much more. Yoga is a philosophy, a way of life, and so to teach it is to live it, the two are, and should be the same.

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