I realized just the other day that I have been teaching yoga for nine months now, both in Sierra Madre and Pasadena. I am evolving and the maxim about learning is truer than ever. The more you learn, the more you practice, the more you realize how much you need to learn. In the effort to improve my teaching skills I attended two six hour intensives over the July 12-16 weekend at the Yoga Journal Conference in San Diego.
The first one was on Experiential Anatomy with Judith Lasater, and the second was with Unlock the Power of a Healthy Spine with Aadil Palkhivala. Both teachers are renowned in the field of yoga and visiting their websites will give you an idea of the abundance of knowledge each teacher possesses.
I am also a teacher. I hold a California Teaching Credential and have a Master's Degree in Human Development. However, after years of teaching and founding and directing a non profit organization, in San Diego, I felt like a beginner all over again. Although I love teaching and am quite comfortable in the process, I also love learning, and I love sharing. However, after several months of teaching, I suddenly realized I needed more learning to be a better teacher.
My chiropractor, Dr. Kolleen Gregory of Focus Chiropractic, gave me the word that sums up what I learned about what I now do as a profession. PRACTICE.
Yoga is Practice
Teaching is Practice
Medicine is Practice
Healing is Practice
Hey, Life is Practice
Each student that I teach helps me become a better teacher and helps me learn more about Yoga and teaching and healing. Each workshop I attend enlarges my understanding of my own practice. In some ways, I hope I will always remain a beginner.
Peering into the body through the Yogic lens with two master teachers to learn more about anatomy and proper alignment over a 12 hour period gave me greater insights in how to continue my teaching and keeping my focus on the health and wellness of my students. People come to classes with all types of conditions that need to be respected by the teacher. We are here as guides, in a vast body of knowledge that is called yoga. It is a system that is rapidly becoming recognized for its beneficial effects in a myriad of conditions, from stress reduction, to its philosophy, to nutrition, and to the neurological and physical systems.
A friend and student of mine wrote a testimonial for me today about my class. If you are interested in learning more about that feel free to check it out here.
The most important insight I gained during the conference was the reminder that we are each accountable for our own health and self development. Through study and consistent practice we can improve our health and feel better. Leaving our comfort zone to expand our knowledge helps us continue to stay vital and evolving. It keeps life fresh and deepens our commitments to take care of ourselves. We all know the benefits of maintaining healthy practices to benefit our bodies, minds and spirits. With yoga, as with many things, it is never too late to be good to ourselves.