Over the past 12 months I have undertaken a yoga teacher training program here in Guelph at Living Yoga and Health Studio. With 6 months remaining until I finish the 200 hour program, I have more questions than answers. Will I really be able to teach a beginners yoga class? Will I have the knowledge and confidence to lead a group into what could be a life altering process? Will I keep them from potential injury? Can I assist them in exploring themselves and their bodies and their limitations? So many questions….
What I would hope to bring to my potential students is the wisdom of Master Yogi, T.K.V. Desikachar. He has this to say:
Beginning from where we are:
“When we go into a posture or carry out a movement that feels tense, it is difficult to notice anything else besides that tension. Perhaps when we sit in a cross-legged position our only thought is for the pain in our strained ankles. In doing this we are not really in the asana we are striving for – we are obviously not yet ready for this particular position. Rather, we should first practice something easier. This simple idea is the foundation for our whole yoga practice. Practicing the postures progressively, we gradually achieve more steadiness, alertness and over all comfort.
If we want to make this principle of asana practice a reality, we have to accept ourselves just as we are. If we have a stiff back we have to acknowledge this fact. It may be that we are very supple but our breath is very short, or perhaps our breathing is all right but our body gives us certain problems. It is also possible to feel comfortable in an asana while the mind is somewhere completely different. That is not asana either. It is only possible to find the qualities that are essential to asana if we recognize our own starting point and learn to accept it.”