Posted by: eveyoga | December 8, 2011

Finding Your Teaching Voice

Newish yoga teachers worry about whether they are doing a good enough job in their early days of teaching. This is perfectly natural and, if anxiety levels are not too high, their concern may contribute to making their best effort possible.

Part of the making of a good teacher is finding one’s own voice. We tend to imitate our teachers because we need role models; we copy mannerisms, words, and technique. The great masters of the art and music worlds learned exactly in this way.

One day (and it is completely unknown when this will be), the trainee teacher will make a tentative leap into trying on another voice. Perhaps she’ll even start to hear the whisperings of her own voice.

A seasoned yoga teacher whose Indonesian retreat I attended years ago said that it takes a good 12 years to develop mature yoga teaching ability. I wouldn’t disagree but only modify that statement by adding “give or take a few years”. If you’re committed to yoga and teaching, the time will go quickly, in any case.

At the recent Divine Feminine conference in Sydney, I loved hearing from the “old hands”, women whose offerings emanate from a deep well of knowledge, experience and wisdom. They have a sheen that comes from polishing the Self. The Self is what speaks when it all comes together.

I’d like to pass on to you a little clip of the virtuoso, Leonard Cohen, talking about  how he found his song (read “voice”). The setting of this video is Spain and the occasion is a ceremony to grant Cohen the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. As singer-songwriter, musician, poet and novelist, Cohen is unbelievably accomplished, but I think he is most beloved for the contribution of his unique voice.

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