Posted by: eveyoga | September 8, 2011

Inspired Teaching

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It’s a worthwhile exercise to stop and ponder what it is that makes a good teacher.

I often pose this question to myself as a teacher of yoga but it obviously is an important exercise for any teacher.

On this trip to the USA, I’ve stopped in to a few yoga classes in various cities so I’ve had the opportunity to “check out ” different schools and teachers. Here are a few observations:

Good teaching in yoga is founded on having a deep and practical grasp of the subject matter. In yoga this encompasses a very wide field, including breathing practices, ethics, meditation, as well as asanas.

A good teacher should be able to reach a broad spectrum of students. I think Krishnamacharya was able to do this through his very different teachers, Desikachar, Iyengar, Patabhi Jois, and Indra Devi. Through them, yoga proliferated.

Good teaching doesn’t happen necessarily just because a teacher has a sparkling personality. I like the Sydney yoga teacher, Michael de Manicor, for instance, because he works continuously to challenge the minds of his students.

We love our yoga teachers when they throw us a pearl of wisdom that stays in our psyche, like an implanted microchip, and it becomes our own wisdom over the years.

The most important quality of good teaching though, I think, is that it comes from someone who walks the yoga talk. Their teaching my not be perfect; it may still be formulating. But there’s a quiet or not so quiet passion that fires the teacher’s own learning journey, and keeps them forever in the process discovering what good teaching is.

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