How Thoughts and Feelings can Impact Your Yoga Teaching Profession?
As said by Mark Twain, a famous quote:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream, Discover."
So, here my question is – what do you feel about yourself and your goals in life? Are you happy, contented and satisfied with your current state, or do you want to transform your life according to what you want to see? If yes! then what is stopping you?
You know that there are yoga instructors elsewhere in this world who are well successful, famous and even rich, while teaching yoga. They conduct many workshops, seminars and yoga retreats. They live in nice and beautiful houses, go for holidays and find time to enjoy with their family and friends as well. They believe that life has to be abundant in all aspects.
They get over their limitations of fear, anxiety or any other negative aspect – and just succeed in doing what they truly want from the core of their hearts. They know the essential law of universe, which is the “Law of Attraction”.
Your Thoughts and Feelings
For any task we do, in our day to day lives – no matter how miniscule it could be; it is governed by what we think and what we feel. Most of the time, the thoughts and feelings we occupy in our minds tend to attract the similar conditions to us. The system actually works like a tuning fork. If you feel happy, you will get more happiness as a resonance from what lies around you, if you feel sad or worried or fearful, guess what, you get the same back.
An easy way to track this, is to look back to your past life incidents, which may be a success or a failure. You will see that there was definitely some part of your thoughts responsible for creating those situations. These thoughts guide you to behave and act in a particular manner, which attract the corresponding events into your life. As an experienced yogi, you might be able to bring conscious peace to your mind, but what about the creative visualization? I have seen many yogis shy away from such thing, in order to gain any materialistic possessions in their lives. They think that this is against their principles and would somehow lower their ‘energy levels’ being a yogi.
The truth is absolutely opposite. Your limitations and fears are only created and governed by your mind. Whatever you tell to your subconscious, gets registered there as a fact. If you think that charging money for teaching yoga is something ‘bad’ and derogatory for your position amongst your students (if they are already there), then think again.
What are you doing now? You are having a full time job which has no relations to your passion for yoga. You don’t love it, you feel burdened about it. You want to pursue your yoga practice and teach others as well. You even do that on a small level, which makes you feel utterly blessed, benefiting yourself and few others. Yet you don’t want to go ahead and transform your life to something which can make you happy every moment; a task which can bring happiness and better life to others too. What is stopping you?
I know people will come up with many reasons – family to take care of, stable job, stable source of income, and all other stuffs. But, if you peep deep inside your heart – you know that these limitations are set just by your mind and no one else.
An Exercise to Help you Get over your Fears
This probably is the story of almost every yoga instructor. As said by Dr. Martin Luther King:
“Take the first step in faith.You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Your fears are mostly imaginary to you and if you consider them as your problem, you can simply dissolve the problems, instead of putting your efforts in solving them. The best way is to acknowledge yourself - “I am a Yoga Trainer”. Below is an exercise I’d like you to do:
1) Get into a state of relaxation. As a yoga practitioner, you might already know how to do that.
2) Just sit quietly in lotus position, take twenty deep breaths, get into a state of complete relaxation, and visualize yourself to be conducting a yoga workshop.
3) You can see those 50 or 100 students in front of you, wearing their yoga apparel, and standing on their yoga mats.
4) You are perched on a stand, which is slightly above the normal floor.
5) You feel calm and composed.
6) You can see yourself directing and instructing them according to the sequence plans you’ve made.
7) You can simply guide them with the first steps of yoga, which you learned, when you started practicing initially.
8) You smile a lot, make them smile, crack jokes and have fun while doing the whole exercise.
This whole creative visualization, is basically the movie of your mind. The law of attraction works here in releasing your mind and body of the first fear of being a professional trainer.
A Simple Exercise
Let me ask you to do this exercise –
1) Go to some calm and peaceful place, preferably the place where you practice yoga.
2) Take few deep breaths.
3) Speak slowly to yourself in a whisper, “I am a professional Yoga Trainer”
4) Notice, the feelings you get in your body, when you say this. Do you visualize yourself teaching yoga in a professionally conducted workshop or in a seminar or studio?
5) Acknowledge these feelings and note them down somewhere.
6) Perform the same exercise again, next day.
The main motive behind the exercise was to help you get in the feel of being a yoga instructor. Many people feel scared about the thought. They doubt themselves to be worthy enough to teach yoga professionally to others. Below is an excerpt from a famous yoga teacher’s description of her five year yoga teaching experience:
“It was around five years back, when I graduated and attained my yoga teaching certificate. I was now declared a professional yoga trainer.
I have to admit that this fact and its awareness, literally scared me to death. I was engrossed with so many doubts and fear.
‘Did I know enough to teach?’
‘Have I known enough of the human anatomy, alignment , philosophy, physiology and Sanskrit words to really teach others?
Will I be an amazing success like the other yoga trainers or a complete fiasco the first time I stand in front of a group of all unknown and expecting students, who will be paying for my course?
Yes, I was scared. But, then as all of us "teachers" do, I went out and I taught because deep down in my heart, I knew that I really love yoga and I literally want to share this joy with others.
Now, after five years of teaching and mentoring, I have noticed a shift. Now, I feel confident, satisfied, happy and contented in telling others that I am a yoga teacher. I no longer shake (I know, but yes it was really that overwhelming!) when I stand in front of a group of students. I can more easily pour my heart and soul and love of yoga into my trainings.
I am a Yoga Teacher.”
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