Can you be good at yoga? Well, for the sake of this little article, let's say yes. Good at yoga as in displaying a strong and graceful vinyasa yoga practice with equal parts effort and ease. Keeping a steady rhythm linked with each breath in and out.
This takes time to establish, years and years of practice. Even more hard work, more determination and more time might lead to a visually impressive practice with handstand press-ups and fluid transitions into koundinyasanas, vashistasanas and eka padas. We are easily impressed by people with a strong yoga practice. It’s inspiring! It looks great in social media! But does a strong acrobatic practice automatically make you a good yoga teacher? And, turning the question around, does a yoga teacher have to possess that acrobatic advanced practice in order to be good at teaching yoga?
To teach yoga well, you need to know the subject you are teaching. You need to know yoga. Positions, transitions, activations, techniques. You need to know what everything tastes like. What does it taste like to shift the body weight into the hands? What does it taste like to raise a leg slowly? If you have done part of the journey towards handstand, if you have tasted it, you can certainly teach it well without mastering it.
A good teacher is skilled pedagogically. A good teacher has clarity. The ability to simplify. Humbleness. Empathy. Kindness. Logical thinking. An interest in people. A good teacher sees people and meets each individual where he/she is.
Advanced asana is not what changes people. It's not the great gift of yoga. If you want to make a difference and spread the practice to even more people, then focus on tasting all aspects of yoga and fine-tuning your actual teaching skills. Spread the simplicity of breathing, moving, building strength, creating body awareness. The gift is right there, in the simplicity. Be of service, and spread exactly this when you teach.
True North Vinyasa offers 200 hour foundational vinyasa teacher trainings in Portugal twice a year. Read more here ››
Ps. In the picture above, our guest teacher Nazareno Grisola, who is good at yoga and good at teaching yoga. It's possible!
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Articles about the world of teaching and living Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Elin Jensen and Lisa Andersson Rhodiner