Spirituality isn’t an add on to Yoga
Why spirituality isn’t an add to Yoga. The “S” word isn’t used often enough in modern Yoga. It’s become a word that people distance themselves from. Yoga has been stripped back, and it’s practices diluted. Often void from its origin in order to market a watered down version of Yoga.
Yoga practices are also becoming layered up, adding on extras that aren’t related to the practice. Classes often end up not bringing in a deeper sense of awareness for students for the sake of keeping up with the latest trends. It’s true the physical postures have so much benefit, and are the perfect way to connect with the body, mind and breath. Yet it’s not the only gain. In modern Yoga so much time is focused on the postural practice. From alignment cues, cool transitions and flows, and the essence of Yoga is lost.
Spirituality is at the heart of your teaching
Our spiritual practice gives us meaning, a sense of being grounded. It offers direction, not just in our day to day lives, but beyond. Spirituality provides purpose, and helps us to feel comfortable, in our skin. Connected to our natural self. At its core our true nature is not something we can lose, and not something (teachers) can “add on” with a few cues and tips in class.
The goal of Yoga is to help us connect with our real self, to live a more meaningful and richer life. Yoga brings people into the present moment, and reduces the mind chatter. Yoga is different to an exercise class, as it focusses on inner and outer balance.
Sadhana for Yoga teachers
A spiritual practice enables you to be present, once you are rooted in your self you can teach with greater ease. With no need to fill the quiet reflective space in classes. A teacher’s role is to offer a grounding safe space. With lots of pauses, and to invite moments of calm and ease. A teacher’s role isn’t to get in the way of the process. Allow students to have their own experience. A modern day teacher isn’t there as a mystic, healer, or a guru either. No gimmicks, nothing to hide behind!
Enable students to experience the ‘here and the now’, the very moment. However it is, without covering things up, or blocking people’s self development. Learn to be the container, the holder of the natural space. This sense of awareness comes from self-practice and self-study, your sadhana (daily spiritual practice). The the philosophical and meditation aspects of Yoga, bring them into your practice and your teaching.
So much of life is filling the void, and missing the moment. Make sure that your class isn’t another place that’s afraid to be real. At its essence Yoga enables one to feel more present, alert and aware of the mind, body and spiritual self. With no judgement.
Workshops focussing on the fuller aspects of practice: