Being Yourself as a Yoga Teacher
What does it mean to be authentic? What does it mean to be yourself? How to be yourself?
I have been teaching yoga since 2011 and only recently could I verbalize the essence of my teaching yoga (read My Story as a Yoga Teacher in Montreal). My role as a yoga teacher is to bring out the best in people and staying authentic enables me to do so. Respecting who I am and acknowledging my weaknesses.
Being Yourself as a Yoga Teacher: #1 Embrace Your Imperfections
As a yoga teacher, just as in my daily life, I embrace my imperfections which is part of my personality. The first thing we learn as a yoga teacher is that we have the responsibility to create a safe space where our students can feel at ease and comfortable enough to express themselves. With time I have gained confidence in my teaching abilities being more ‘me’, more authentic.
Being Yourself as a Yoga Teacher: #2 Be Confident
When a student feels its teacher’s confidence, the student becomes more at ease and benefits a lot more from the practice. I was once asked if as a yoga teacher you can teach poses you cannot do yourself, I quickly responded for sure there are many yoga poses that are not accessible to me and I pride myself in saying that I’m not there yet in my practice and it’s okay. But I still inform my students that if it is part of their practice they are welcome to do the pose.
Being Yourself as a Yoga Teacher: #3 Show Your Flaws
Showing your flaws will create a safe space for discussions and open genuine conversations between you and your students. Life is about relationships and to be able to bring out the best in people you need to know them. By telling them who you are, they will be more inclined to reciprocate. Some participants are more shy than others and it will take a while before telling you of some discomfort in a pose, for instance.
Being Yourself as a Yoga Teacher: #4 Be Human
Teaching in Montreal has forced me to teach bilingual classes. I have been raised in a bilingual family (anglophone father and francophone mother) which enhanced my language skills. It is not always easy to offer simultaneous translations while practicing yoga. I have recently filmed a bilingual yoga class that I have uploaded on YouTube where I mentioned twice ‘cheekbone’ instead of ‘sit bone’. I could have stopped and reshoot this part of the video or done a voice-over but I decided to be me aka imperfect. When you are yourself people around you will also be themselves. Is it not easier to be ourselves anyways?
Take home message: Dare to be you and don’t be shy to show your true personality, your authentic self.
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