Archives for September 2018

Yoga teachers are not perfect – On being Human

Being a yoga teacher is the perfect job for me. I have been a teacher all my working life and teaching yoga means I get to share my passion for yoga with others. I love it. I practice yoga 6 days a week and I spend lots of my time learning more about yoga both as a spiritual practice and a physical one. I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years and teaching for over 10 so I have a wealth of experience to draw on. I don’t just teach yoga, my whole life is yoga and I am so grateful for that.

Yoga doesn’t make me perfect

Helen sat in lotus yoga poseMy yoga practice helps me in the my life immensely but it doesn’t make me perfect. You might be surprised to hear me feel the need to say this so let me explain. As a yoga teacher a lot is expected of you and perhaps this is correct to a point. It would be confusing if a yoga teacher to acted in complete contradiction to the values of the tradition. Being the perfect teacher would actually entail being the perfect teacher that each and every student has in their minds. This is probably not possible, as each student will have different values.

I remember in my early days of being a student and realizing that each and every one of my teachers was indeed just human and had flaws just like me. Then becoming a teacher and having people say things like “I thought yoga kept you healthy”, when I had a cold.  Yoga does indeed improve immune function but alas it doesn’t make you immune to all illness! Even outside of the context of yoga if I admit that I am struggling with something, someone might say “I thought yoga was meant to help you with that”. Well thanks, it does and sometimes I still struggle with this wonderful experience of being human.

The Yoga helps

So here it is. The yoga helps. It helps me a lot, it has a huge impact on how I feel and how I relate to the world. That’s why I do it and I teach because I know I have both personal experience and knowledge to share. I am human. I challenge myself and sometimes I fall short. I make mistakes and I am still learning with the rest of you. The yoga has helped me to be okay with who I am so I am not going to pretend to be anyone else. Authenticity is important and as we learn from each other we can start to see each other’s humanity so that we can learn to love our own.