Writing prompt for Yoga Teachers: What Makes a Good Yoga Teacher?

IMG_2301 Our teacher training program at GDY includes a good deal of time for personal inquiry and reflection.  We think this is important in helping students transition from student to teacher.  When I became a yoga teacher the program I took gave us ample opportunity to reflect, meditate, and write in addition to all of the normal things you do in a YTT.  One of the writing questions we needed to answer was "What Makes a Good Yoga Teacher".

Maybe you are a yoga teacher or you dream of being a yoga teacher.  If you need a writing prompt this is a good one.  Set a timer for 5 minutes and let yourself write it out.  Don't over think it, just write.  What comes to mind?

This was one of the assignments our trainee's had during the first trimester of their YTT.  While our sweet group of trainees wrote I decided it would be a good idea for me to write out my thoughts on this as well.

Here is what I came up with riffing for 5 minutes...

A good yoga teacher is someone who can simultaneously teach a challenging physical class, all the while weaving in yoga philosophy, pranayama, and maybe even chanting.  All in order to help the student achieve a sense of union with the divine.  Helping the student transcend all of the physical and mental clutter that pulls us out of the moment.   The teachers ultimate goal is helping the student achieve their own objectives thus helping them journeying into their true self.   Juggling all of this while knowing what to say when you see someone out of alignment and helping the student learn to bring the body back into alignment.  It is through the physical that we can access the spiritual, and beyond.  A good teacher pays attention to what is happening in their students bodies throughout the class.  A good teacher is able to get the students uncomfortable and do it with humor and compassion.  If we can learn to live with the uncomfortable in our bodies we can start to be comfortable with the uncomfortable we find in our minds.  What else makes a good teacher?  Hands on adjustments, 10 minute savasana (always a 10 minute savasana) and above all boundaries and grace.

That is what I strive to do, be, and posses as a yoga teacher.  Those are the characteristics I look for in the teachers I practice with.

Looking at what I came up with it feels like I created a yoga super hero.  "Super hero/Yoga teacher"  but we've all gotta have goals right?  These are mine.  If you are a yoga teacher or a yoga taker I'm sure you've got an opinion on this and your answers will be most likely be pretty different.  I want to hear what you've come up with.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think makes a good yoga teacher.

xoxo -Alisha

Building Momentum

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If you read my posts regularly you know that the yoga studio is my labor of love.  Weeks like this I can't help but be filled with endless amounts of joy and gratitude for what is growing at the studio.  All of our classes this week were packed, despite the cold weather.  The support we are receiving from our students and the greater community is overwhelming.  Our teachers are top-notch and I find that when I leave them alone to do what they do best, that's when the studio wins.

Our classes are regularly filling up the studio and many days I'm hoping that I don't have to turn anyone away.  We now have 8 teachers that teach weekly at the studio and there is room for more classes.  The teacher training program is starting to fill up and I'm pretty confident we will sell it out (for now there is room if you still want in).

I knew Greensboro was ready for this type of space and this type of yoga.  I knew that it would take time, and it is taking time but we have the momentum and it's all moving in the right direction.  Thank you for everyone who supports this business!  Thank you to everyone who comes out and takes classes, and participates in what we are building.  This studio would not be growing if it wasn't for all of you!

xoxoxo -Alisha

Faith

IMG_1153 When I opened Greensboro Downtown Yoga, it was a creation based on faith.  There was not a crystal ball telling me I wasn't going to go bankrupt, nothing to re-assure me that I could make this work.  No-one actually saying "Alisha we want a Vinyasa yoga studio in downtown Greensboro".  This was blind faith that I had something others could get behind.  This business is not mine.  Not really, it belongs to the other teachers that teach at my studio, it belongs to the students coming to class and it belongs to the many people who have supported me in one way or another in building this particular creation.  The neat part it is that it's not done growing!!  The momentum is fantastic and the numbers are trending in a way that I think this could be our year.  There still isn't any re-assurance that I can make this work long-term, it's still scary, unnerving and a heck of a lot of work on top of a full-time job.  What keeps me going is that not only do I love yoga, and love teaching yoga, but I know that this studio is bigger than me.   Ultimately the studio doesn't belong to me anymore, not really, it belongs to all of the people who's help and support I've received in building this business.  The studio belongs to all of the teachers I work with at the studio and all of the students that show up on the mat for themselves in the space that has been created at Greensboro Downtown yoga.  All of those people give me faith.

Yoga, it's powerful.  It can rock your world if you let it.  I'll warn you, it can spark destruction and creation, build friendships and help bring relationships to an end, pull out the best in you, shed light on the darkest parts of your being and transform your life, if you are willing to let it.  If you are willing to embrace what it reveals and do the work.  My faith in that lead me to open the studio.  My faith in the power of yoga lead me to open Greensboro Downtown Yoga.

It was faith that has led me to entice my friend Andra into helping me create a teacher training program for the studio.  Faith that the students of Greensboro Downtown Yoga are ready to take their practice to the next level, faith that there are those in our community that feel the calling to share this yoga that they are so passionate about with others.  A teacher training program is a big piece to the puzzle of a successful studio.  So once again I'm creating something based on faith.  I have the faith that you need this program in the way that I needed to create it.  It's not mine anymore.  It's out there now for you to be a part of.  Come be a part of this creation, come deepen your practice, tap into the faith within yourself, that your desire to share yoga with others is legitimate.  Honor the wisdom within yourself.  Take the leap, come be a part of our growing community in a deeper way.

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