10 Things Your Yoga Teacher Would Love You To Know: Part 2 of 2
By: Kristie Lindblom
Last week, I shared the first 5 of the “10 Things Your Yoga Teacher Would Love You To Know” (Part 1 of 2). Here are the next 5!
6. What do you need today?
Self Study (Svadyaya)
By having an awareness of yourself and the needs your body has, you can help your yoga practice grow. I love when students tell me what’s happening with their bodies and what they are hoping to get out of class. Hearing someone say, “I’d love some hip openers today,” or “Gosh, I’m so stressed. A long Savasana (corpse pose) would feel great!” is so helpful. Many teachers make it a point to ask, but even if they don’t, this information can help them help you. Be mindful of the effects the postures, breath work, and meditation are having on you so you understand your body’s response and use what you learn in your day to day life.
7. Keep it clean.
Cleanliness/ Purity (Saucha)
Our health has a relationship to the state in which we keep our body. We need to purify the body both inwardly and outwardly so that toxins and blockages do not accumulate and create disease. Let’s face it: odors can be distracting. While most people acknowledge that a good shower is appreciated by your fellow students, so is being free of perfumes or fragrances. Another point of cleanliness is your mat. If it isn’t cleaned once in a while, it becomes a petrie dish, so please do take some time to wash it down. A lot of people don’t know that they can actually wash a yoga mat. Here is a nifty little how-to http://www.ehow.com/how_2223710_clean-yoga-mat.html.
8. Accept where you are today.
For many people, the work of yoga comes not necessarily in the postures. It is often in releasing our need to compare ourselves to the person on the mat next to us or even in comparing what we can do now to what we think we should be able to do. Good teachers want their students to remember that yoga isn’t about touching your nose to your knee– it’s about uncovering and discovering what is in the way of you and your union with your Self. By letting go of expectations, you let yourself unearth where your body is today and your teacher can help you then work from there.
9. Take it home.
Self Discipline (Tapas)
We love seeing your smiling face in class every week. Everyone needs a good teacher to help guide them on their yoga journey. But guess what? Your best teacher lies within you. The true yoga practice starts on your own mat in your own house every day. When you develop a daily practice you move from using yoga as an exercise to embracing it as a way of life. You become more in touch with your body and the subtleties of the asanas (postures) become more apparent in daily practice. This will translate to your teacher being able to guide you in to the deeper levels of the practice.
10. Release the ego.
Surrender to a higher source (Ishwara Pranidhana)
When we let go of ‘I’ and open ourselves to what we need to learn and discover in this moment, we open to possibility. One of the times when we can practice this is in Corpse Pose (Savasana) at the end of class. Some students like to leave early– and then they miss out on the most important time in class! I’d encourage you to make it a point to stay through Savasana and any other ending meditation. If you do need to leave early, it’s appreciated when you do tell your teacher ahead of time and leave before corpse pose so as not to disturb your fellow students.
Kristie Lindblom, RYT is a yoga instructor that specializes in therapeutic and restorative practice. She is a Stress Management Specialist at the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. www.searchingforsattva.blogspot.com
Kristie Lindblom Yoga on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristie-Lindblom-Yoga/188916691158779