As a qualified yoga teacher it is a common question to be asked how long you have been teaching yoga and judging by your answer, some might be curious about what 'cool' poses you can do etc. When people say you are good or bad at teaching yoga or just at practicing yoga, It is a mislead statement, because there is no such thing as a good or bad yogi. The fundamental part of yoga is that no matter what qualification you have or don't have, you are a constant student. Bare in mind, it is said that to master anything it takes at least 12 years of doing that specific thing every day and even then, do you stop at being a master?
It is always nice to feel good about 'conquering' a pose that took so long for your body to understand but at the same time, yoga is a life long practice and there will always be one pose after another that you want to master. The key to this, is not letting your ego take over and using each progression as a life lesson. Personally I have noticed that I have come a very long way since I started doing yoga, in terms of knowing how to correct myself, flexibility, finally feeling confident about self practice and not getting mad at myself when I don't practice. The main thing for me and a lot of other yoga teachers out there is that even though we have attained the qualification of 'teacher' we are as much the students as the people we are teaching.
Since I qualified a year and a half ago, I decided to dedicate the time in between studying for my 300hr, to use my teaching practice on myself. It was the best decision for me because it got me where I wanted to be, and gradually, which was important. I finally did my 300hr training a year and a half later when the time was right and now my confidence to share what I know with others, has evolved. Teaching others for me, is a learning experience for myself most of all. I learn about each and every 'body', I learn about my own teaching style, I learn about modifications for the students I have and I learn how to be patient with myself in the process of this lifestyle. A good yoga teacher isn't about showing off advanced poses that you can do- because that's all ego-, nor is it just about how well you conduct a class, it is about the balance of everything in between. It is about being confident with your imperfections and being happy to learn every single day while expressing yourself in front of a class. A lot of people think they can't do yoga because they aren't flexible or would feel intimidated by a bendy teacher but at the end of the day, the teacher needs you to help them learn things in their practice just as much as you need them, and believe it or not, even the most advanced teachers admit the struggles they have with certain poses.
Teachers versus students..? Yin and Yang...! Both need each other equally and without one, the other wouldn't flourish. So if you are a teacher, take note of what you learn from your students in the next class you teach and if you are attending a yoga class as a student, take note of what you learn from your teacher. It's important to realise that you are also your best teacher and the only one who knows your body and mind, so use this knowledge in your every day routine and you will surprise yourself.
Namaste: the divine light in me, honours the divine light in you