One of the common challenges that many face when practicing yoga, or any fitness program for that matter, is becoming bored if the routine is always the same. But think about it from an instructor’s point of view. Day after day, teaching the same class – sometimes multiple classes in a single day – giving the same instructions, and offering the same advice. No matter how much instructors love the practice of yoga, they too can lose their motivational mojo. Just as students look to their instructors for inspiration, instructors need a jolt of inspiration themselves every once in a while. Here are three ideas to help keep you motivated as a yoga instructor.
Don’t stop being a student
When are you aren’t teaching a class, take a class with an instructor you admire, or a workshop. Ask questions, and embrace learning – or relearning the practice. If you gravitate towards a particular style of yoga, consider trying something completely new. Not only will you push your own mind and body outside of its normal boundaries, you’ll be able to bring a new experience to your students.
Practice at home alone
After a day spent teaching, coming home jumping into your own yoga practice might be the last thing you want to do. But your personal practice may just be you find the inspiration you need to inspire your teaching. Find a time when you can devote yourself, mind and body, to clear your mind, concentrate on your own form, and study the challenges you find in each of your own poses. Looking at your own practice from the perspective of a student can help give you the tools to understand and help your real life students increase their practices.
Connect with your students
Unless it’s an advanced class, many yoga sessions include students at all different levels in their practices. You may find it beneficial to encourage students to come to you with questions after class because they may be too embarrassed to speak up. When you help students correct their form or modify a pose to overcome a personal limitation, it can be rewarding to see how a minor change can help them flourish in their practice. That can only reaffirm your great teaching skills!
In addition to these motivational tips, we thought we’d share some quotes of wisdom and encouragement from the Sanskrit scripture Bhagavad Gita.
“Yoga is the practice of tolerating the consequences of being yourself.”
“Be steadfast in yoga, O Arjuna. Perform your duty and abandon all attachment to success or failure. Such evenness of mind is called yoga.”
“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”
“A person can rise up through the efforts of his own mind; or in the same manner, draw himself down, for each person is his own friend or enemy.”
“The real meaning of yoga is a deliverance from contact with pain and sorrow.”
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