“We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”
The path of being or becoming a teacher in the field of yoga, meditation, or the like is a rewarding and powerful journey of self-discovery. There may be a time, however, either when one is just starting off teaching or somewhere in the middle, when the desire to teach becomes obscured by various reasons or circumstances and the bright light of passion that was the motivation to complete the training in the first place begins to dwindle.
Does this sound like you? More importantly, despite this hindrance, do you still feel called to teach and share what you love? Perhaps there is an inner voice telling you not to give up. If so, be gentle on yourself and know that what you’re feeling is honest and very real. Think of this as a phase that is preparing you for the next stage of growth. The world needs your special brand of teaching during these turbulent times, but let’s first begin discovering the teacher within so that you may begin answering the call and ultimately fulfilling your life’s purpose.
Get Back to Basics
Now is the time to make sure “all hands are on deck.” How is your spiritual practice? If this has been sidelined, it’s time to make it your priority. Practice what you preach. Your Sadhana will encourage a solid foundation from which to build your teaching practice. As your connection to self deepens, so does your ability to connect and share with others. You gain clarity surrounding your situation and create space for the teacher within to be reclaimed and emerge anew.
Ask the Soul Questions
As part of your Sadhana, try asking the soul questions prior to every meditation as a way of tuning in to the core of who you are and expanding your sense of purpose. Ask each question and let it go whether or not there is an answer. You are simply planting seeds that will help align you with your true self and you may find the answers come from unexpected places.
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- What am I grateful for?
- What is my dharma or purpose in life?
Feed Your Curiosity
Before you became a teacher, your journey began with one little spark of curiosity. This curiosity led to further inquiry and soon you found yourself taking regular yoga classes and cultivating stillness through meditation and reaping the benefits. Just because you are now a teacher, doesn’t mean the curiosity ends. Keep learning, keep seeking out new experiences that spark your interests, and see where it takes you. Your repertoire of knowledge will expand, which means you will stand out as a teacher. Your boundaries might be pushed, which is exactly what you need to grow and the end result will be creative and more expansive approaches to teaching.
Stay True to You
It’s easy to compare yourself to other teachers who seem to have an aptitude for teaching or are more seasoned and obviously have found their flow. While the saying “practice makes perfect” holds true, what helps initially is the awareness that the classes or the material you will teach have never been taught by you, thus making it new and fresh for your students. There will always be room for you and what you have to offer and how you deliver it despite how many yoga teachers there are in the world or meditation instructors may exist in your community. Stay true to you and the right students will find you and benefit from your special brand of teaching.
Lead by Example
Lastly, what is it that draws you to a teacher? Teachers who have an obvious “presence” are like magnets and generally exude humility, integrity, wisdom, light-heartedness, and strength among other qualities. People can learn so much by simply observing them. The idea is that you don’t have to be a teacher in the general sense, but you can also teach by example, which can be quite powerful. Start by becoming a maven, feeding your curiosity and diving deeper into the teachings, putting your teachings into practice, and becoming a beacon of light by simply being.
As a yoga or meditation teacher, you have the perfect opportunity to serve as a guide and lend a hand to those in need. Draw them up from the turbulent waters of life and help them experience more peace rather than constant struggle. By discovering the teacher within, you will soon find the best, most authentic way to teach what you love in a way that only you can. Most importantly, enjoy the journey!
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