This great question just came in from one of my teacher mentees, and I thought the answer would be beneficial for you all to hear!
I am starting to understand the importance of having my own strong personal practice so I can be a better teacher. What is your practice like? What kind of practice is necessary to be a good private teacher?
My own practice is different all the time. I have periods of time when I have a very consistent and strong asana practice; I practice at home regularly and take many advanced classes. Then I have times when I am depleted and need to turn inward, so I do mostly restorative yoga and meditation at home. Sometimes I get really into running or spinning and find myself taking mostly basics level asana classes so I can go easy on my legs and refine my alignment. It is very important for me to be in my body, so I must do some kind of embodiment practice every day, and I listen deeply to find out what that needs to be in the moment. I do really love to go to class. It feels so nurturing to get on my mat and have someone else tell me what to do.
I also really consider all my self-care practices to be part of my yoga practice.
Everything I have learned in my body work sessions deeply informs my teaching, and I make sure I am getting body work regularly. I am committed to getting it on the calendar at least twice a month. Right now I am really into acupuncture, but I have done a ton of Feldenkrais, cranio-sacral therapy, physical therapy, visceral manipulation, and massage.
Also, my deep relationships with my girlfriends (and brother and parents) are both healing and teaching for me, and inform my private teaching.
I think what is most useful as a private teacher is to have a really wide range of physical practices. With a wide scope of experience, your offerings will widen and deepen as well.
- What is speaking to you in your home practice or group classes?
- What kind of practices do you think will deepen your teaching?
Thank you so much for this blogpost. I’m 58, been teaching only for about a year and a half (done yoga for much, much longer), and recently diagnosed with osteoporosis. Also have some arthritis kicking up. It’s a little discouraging not to be able to do some of the more challenging poses. You reminded me that body work is important, and just the other day, I was getting ready to do my practice at home and realized my body was begging for restoratives rather than the Big practice I was about to launch into. Thank God I listened for once, and did the restorative. Your post just reminded me to widen my perspective about what constitutes my yoga practice. Thanks.
Ah, you are most welcome Tina! Listening to ourselves is really our most important practice as teachers, isn’t it? XO
It’s so true that our practice as teachers changes… and therein lies the beauty of the advanced yoga practice. 🙂 My home practices are often very restorative, and always very intuitive. Thanks for encouraging everyone to be their own best teacher!
Thanks for the love Kelly!! The most advanced practice is the one that is right for us, isn’t it? <3