Authenticity as a yoga teacher can be very challenging, especially when you are first finding your voice. Perhaps you’ve found your voice, yet your teaching style doesn’t resonate with your community.
It’s easy to shift into a space where we become almost robot-like, absorbing what we’ve just learned from a popular teacher, repackaging it and using as our own. I’ve been there. I was teaching full-time and my primary source of income was from classes where I was paid per head.
I would attend the popular classes and incorporate their teachings into my own, immediately…not after learning the technique nor embodying the new cues. Was it a way to increase class size? Yes. Was it authentic? Definitely not! It didn’t take very long for me to begin to feel disconnected with my practice on my mat and that eventually led to disconnection in the seat of the teacher.
To teach authentically and truly resonate with our students, we must live our yoga; study, learn, embody, and then share. This process may mean that when we come to a space of true embodiment, we realize that style or teaching no longer serves us. And that is perfectly valid. We are first and foremost students of yoga, curious about our own personal practices; reading, taking workshops, online studies, trainings and mentorship. It is through this process that I’ve realized my strengths as a restorative yoga teacher and yoga teacher mentor.
From that space, I create meaningful, lasting connections with my teachers and students.