I absolutely love this article, '8 Big Changes I Had To Make Before Teaching Yoga,' by Shannon Brady, as it truly shines a light on what it means to be a teacher of movement. And not just a teacher, but a guide and a compassionate support system for your students/clients. Offering motivation, reassurance, sharing your knowledge, being invested in their growth and actually caring about where your students are in their movement practice by tuning in to what they may need in each moment. Maybe it's a specific alignment cue, a modification when they're struggling or even the 'OK' to take a rest. Realizing that your students are their own teachers as well, is kind of mind blowing to experience. Let them check in and listen to themselves so they can hear what their own bodies are communicating. It's OK for teachers to be quiet and not feel the need to fill space with mindless chatter. Let the silence do it's own teaching.
I'm not a fan of forceful communication. I often have friends/family/acquaintances ask me, "do you yell at your clients to get them to do what you want?" I have to laugh because that's a very narrow view of what a Personal Fitness Trainer and/or Yoga Instructor is. It would be ideal if they would experience a session with me, as they'd soon realize that my approach to fitness and wellness is more about building them up than shutting them down. It's more about the journey than about the end results. It's more about mindfulness than proving your worth to me on the sand. It's more about your mind and self-talk than you realize. And with that, a healthy balance of mind & body communication is key. Yes, you need to work hard and push yourself outside of your comfort zone to gain the changes and results that you seek. But along with the sweat, pain, discomfort, struggle, there is so much internal growth and awareness that is happening and still so much more that needs to happen. Becoming in tuned with your own body, surprising yourself with what you're really capable of, building internal confidence, enjoying movement, having FUN in your body... why else are we doing any of this if we're not enjoying some aspect of the journey. Understand that you are a delicate yet fierce machine that needs consistent attention and support. These are the tools that I strive to instill in my clients.
And be a friend and mentor to your students. It's so important that they feel welcome in your class, offering a safe space for them to let their guards down. When they allow themselves to become vulnerable, is when the real shifting begins. Also realizing that being a teacher and a leader, you don't have to know everything. I think my students can connect with me more deeply when they too realize that I'm not perfect. I have my own struggles no matter what my body looks like. Perfectly-Imperfect, I like to say. We're all learning along the way and doing the best we can with what we have.
-Blog written by, Andrea Ford w/ Balanced Body Training
Find orginal article here: http://www.doyouyoga.com/8-big-changes-i-had-to-make-before-teaching-yoga/