I still remember that moment I bounced out of my 200 hour teacher training – a heart full of desire to share my passion with the world, but gripped in the hands of trepidation that the responsibility to teach this stuff brings! I actually felt less prepared to be a teacher than when I first began my training. I was now acutely aware of how vast this subject was, and the huge sense of responsibility I felt about working with students’ bodies and emotional wellbeing. YIKES!
And so, I did what any good yoga student would do, I started ANOTHER teacher training course! The content may have been very similar, but at a whopping 500 hour, surely this was guaranteed to make me a better teacher right? Hmmm…if only it were that simple. Roll forward a few years and add a ‘buffet-style’ of Intensives and CPDs, and you’ll find a girl who was on a mission to study the ‘right’ course with the ‘right’ teacher to be the best teacher she could possibly be. Sound familiar?
It’s a given that ongoing study is essential for any teacher who is passionate and dedicated. But continuing to develop as a teacher is no walk in the park. The money, time and energy we invest can be immense, and with a plethora of training out there, it’s easy to get caught up in bouncing from one yoga rock-star to the next – going with what’s #trending at the time, rather than having any clear path of development. In the yoga-world we talk about being on a journey (like, a LOT!). And yet, so often as teachers, we forget that our teaching is also our own spiritual expedition. Whether we’re consciously choosing the direction of that adventure or not is perhaps worth pondering.
“Asking the right question takes as much skill as having the right answer”
So instead of asking “What should I do next?” try reflecting on a personally focused array of questions – “Who am I as a Teacher? How do I want to grow? What lights me up? What am I here to give?”
Clarity on questions like this will eventually show up the right path for each of us, and help us choose the studies, practices and tribes that will help us grow along that path. This search inward is as old as yoga itself. If we look to The Bhagavad Gita, we see Krishna explaining to Arjuna that there are different paths (margas) of yoga – different ways to connect with the truth of our divine nature. And whilst these paths are all interconnected, choosing the one that is most aligned with our temperament and personality will make the journey a little less rocky. So before jumping on to the course-junky bandwagon, take some time to pause and reflect on your journey so far, and ask yourself where your next step will take you – what is your calling NOW?
When we are truly listening and acting on our calling, we tap into a very real and authentic power…a power that can be used to do great and wonderful things. As well as serving us, using this power is also something we should be teaching!