Yogis have always traversed modern yoga with a love hate perspective but there is currently a mass of articles on cultural appropriation suggesting that nothing we do in our middle class lifestyles will ever be enough to call our yoga – YOGA. What has unsettled me is that part of me agrees with this, a large part of me does not and has never wanted even the language of traditional yoga to infiltrate my teaching ( I still to this day have never used the word Namaste at any time in my yoga teaching or practice) and ultimately my distaste of received wisdom and ritual pretty much closes me off to much of the early teachings of pre modern yoga. I have never had a calling for yoga to become my way of life, I just want it to complement my day to day existence allowing me to be more physically capable, more mentally diverse, more spiritually active.
The perfect “next step” in understanding the philosophy of yoga, is a yoga training course. Progressing beyond a purely physical practice requires a greater understanding of its chronology. To teach yoga as a profession, a recognised qualification is essential in order to get insurance and gain employment.
Your absolute goal is to teach professional yoga classes. It is important that the course you choose fits into your existing lifestyle. In order for you to complete it successfully, it must not cause too much disruption to your work life balance. You may have to forsake your next holiday in order to live your dream but it will be worth it once you are a fully qualified yoga teacher.
Although the roots of yoga span several decades and many people perceive authentic yoga to follow a traditional practice, it is important to be mindful of its evolution. A modern audience may be reticent to throw themselves into the more esoteric aspects of yoga preferring a purely physical practice. A good instructor provides a gateway into yoga for everyone and anyone with interest.
Sometimes we all need ergogenic aids to help us fit in or segway into areas that are new and different. We live in a society where possessions are #1, most people have their own mats, sports watches to count steps, calories and tell us how we sleep, the list is endless. As teachers we also need tools to give us a boost and make our job easier.
Here are a few of the things that have made my life easier this year.
If I have 1 regret from my years of teaching, it is that I did not cancel enough classes. My loyalty to the people who came was personal not professional and they would have continued to come, even and perhaps especially if I had been more business like in my class planning. My loyalty to the clubs where I taught was never reciprocated or rewarded, it was expected and that is a massive ask! Sometimes we have nothing to give and at these times we should be able to recoup and relax. You may throw in the need to earn money at this point, but in all honesty, if you do this job well, with planning and some percentage of a business mind, your days away from teaching should not impact your overall income.
Everything needs an outcome and this is it. We are on the cusp of another change in the industry. The large operators are severely challenged by both budget and boutiques. The blanket approach is not pulling in people any more as the end user is tired of mass produced concepts and can afford to be more selective and daring in their exercise choices. They can run for free in the park and pay up to £20 for hot yoga, join a cross fit box, exercise on line – ultimately they have so much more choice.
Today is about INTENTION, when everyone is doing something different, the hardest thing is to stay on your own path. Nike ended – we did not agree with their latest ideas, Athletes in Action ended – we had outgrown it really and Freestyle was ending – so what next? I always wanted my own clothing brand but now was not the time, AIA developed into the best friendship I have ever had and Freestyle? Although it was over, I was not ready to lay it to rest just yet!
So over the next 11 days we demystify and gain clarity. I am going to let you into the very things that have shaped me and GXT over the past 26 years.
Attention or focus are the key ingredients to meditation and mindfulness, 2 aspects of yoga that people find hard to “own” and yet they are also the very things that keep us on our path and bring us the most satisfaction.
We all know that words and actions can truly inspire, but do we really understand the power that our words and actions have on others? Or the affect our internal dialogue has on our own self esteem and state of mind?
By actively creating a more positive outlook, focusing on true character strengths and setting positive intentions we can help ourselves and others experience better outcomes.
Now we’re not talking magical powers here but scientific fact – read on…
I have been asked so many times in the past 12 months – “Are you spiritual?” The etymology of this word still baffles me and every time I hear someone refer to themselves as spiritual, I can’t lie, I develop something of a nervous twitch.
Consider the notion of taking a Yoga class? We have up to 90 minutes to teach a lifestyle, a lifetime of learning, a life changing practice, a workout! The enormity of this task may be the very thing that puts people off both teaching and attending Yoga despite a desire to start this epic journey […]
Here we go or here we go again? Let’s be honest! the new year, new you stuff is all a bit overwhelming, when it’s cold, wet and all you want to do is re live Christmas. Positive affirmations, smiley faces, peace and love – I kind of want to lie down with the cat for […]
Well actually, yes it is, if loving what you do is the absolute and most important thing in your life. I know so many people who teach as a means of relaxation, enjoyment, a reason to step out of their own lives for a few hours each week. Teaching exercise is the perfect way to […]