What is a Real Yoga Teacher?

To one’s astonishment the search on Google for Real Yoga Teacher presented results on the short term Yoga Course offering qualifications of mere 200-300 hours and authorizing an individual to become a Yoga teacher.

Learning Yoga is a long process and demands a meticulous devotion for the art which originated in the Vedic period. Swami Vivekananda had said that “When you are doing any work... do it as a worship, as the highest worship, and devote your whole life to it for the time being.” For the learners who think Yoga can be learnt in a span of time must understand that when you take up the profession of being a teacher it should not be momentarily because a teacher influences his/her students, their lives, their thoughts and sometimes also become their role models. Considering the long lasting effect a teacher has on the lives of students it becomes necessary to understand the sanctity of the profession, understand the responsibility the profession weighs on the shoulders of the individual.

The deficiency of experience could be tragic and there had been incidents where the lack of practice and experience had caused serious injuries to the learners who had approached such teachers. Taking up Yoga as a money oriented profession has yielded dreadful outcomes. Yoga demands learning on the correct physical and energetic levels, which is a time consuming process. A Yoga instructor is expected to be aware of the ability and capability of each body he comes across, if one is not apt enough to  acknowledge the above mentioned skills, then he/she cannot be considered a teacher.

A yoga instructor is a not a gymnast or a physique expert, he is a lot more than that, a spiritual guide  an influence. An instructor is expected not to experiment the asanas on the practitioners approaching them, but should rather be aware of them by trying them out on self. “The soul who meditates on the Self  is content to serve the Self and rests satisfied within the Self; there remains nothing more for him to accomplish.” The individual who had become an instructor simply for the sake of the money cannot have a desire to fulfil the quest for the self. He can never practice Yoga with a motive of selfless and devoted being. Also, what Yoga had encloses within itself is not the bends and molds, but also by understanding your own body to feel it like it has never been felt before and establishing a healthy standard of life with ethical objectives.

No sane man would ever consider the practice of adultery in purity a righteous task. Similarly the spread of diploma courses to become a Yoga teacher has lead to adulteration of the Yoga practice. Yoga is a journey towards self, towards the ultimate and there can be no shortcut to this journey. A piece of paper with a stamp can never really offer the recognition and entitlement with the true objective of the profession. The most prominent and famed Yoga instructors are not the one’s who have attained a certificate, but had rather been practitioners with devotion. There life itself is a chapter of inspiration which guides millions of souls to attain the ultimate destination of being with the ultimate. No guide, instructor or teacher could ever help you in identifying your true goals they can just assist you in following what your heart desires and thrives to achieve. And if this assistance is profound enough to imprint your mind and soul with its presence, it would be the most blissful experience of one’s life.

Another quote from Bhagavad Gita says- “Those who can control their senses, can acquire the sovereignty over the whole world.”

A spiritual guide will always adhere to the teachings of Yoga. Yet another way to understand that the instructors who only aim to make more & more money can never have control of their senses and thus can never be a True Yoga Teacher.

HIMALAYAN IYENGAR YOGA CENTRE
Shreyashi Tiwari

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