I would start this by expressing my gratitude on how blessed I am, that I am still able to continue teaching what I know about Yoga to others, sharing what I am passionate about, and that more people are getting interested in attending my class.
I started my teaching with very least confidence, I do not know how many times I doubted myself if I was ready to start teaching. With less than 3 years of yoga experience, am I good enough to teach, lead yoga classes for others, and if I did, would I be able to teach people with different levels of yoga experience? Do I have enough in me to teach?
I remember I told my worry to my good friend Keiko, it was funny that she reminded what I said to her when we were in Mysore for yoga training. I told her if I would become a teacher one day, I want to be an inspiring teacher like how I was inspired by, I want to be like my teacher in New Zealand, Stewart, he inspires me in so many ways. I told her that I would be honest on my teaching, I do not need to teach things that I do not know, instead I should teach what I know and was taught by my teachers. When one day that my students become more advanced practitioner than me, I would be more than happy and will recommend them to learn from teachers who can help them further. I knew I understood it all, I just forgot. She then quoted from her teacher training in Sivananda Yoga about what is the quality of a Yoga teacher, she or he has to be honest, do not teach what she or he does not know, be passionate to teach, and teach as how she or he had learned from their teacher. I was instantly relieved and knew I got the quality of becoming one, and I just need to keep reminding myself my passion of teaching.
I received so much support from my family and friends, my dad’s friend even recommended me to teach in one aerobic centre to teach yoga once a week. With the help of family spreading out the news that I started teaching yoga at home, people started contacting me and came to my class to try out my class. I got total beginners and some intermediate students, even yoga teachers attended my classes, I was at first worried but feel blessed that they gave me many genuine advices as they know I am new in teaching yoga. The students and I are now friends and we constantly are having jokes and fun in the class. I think it is important to build up a relaxing relationship between teachers and students so that while students attend classes, they could be more relaxed and not tensed up their body while practicing. Most importantly, they will feel free to express if they do not feel good in certain yoga poses or sequence.
I also made sure once I schedule the weekly timetable, I would teach even there is only 1 student turning up to my class, I had so many such classes where only 1 person came, and I always changed a little on my sequence to better benefit the student. It is like a private training. We always had fun practicing together.
Another principle that I am holding is my class is always free of charge for first timers, without conditions. I will write more about this maybe in next blog. There are many generous students who insisted to pay me even I already told them in prior that first class is free, I hold on to my principle and would never take the money from them.
My student base built from below 10 people to now around 40 in a month, almost all students came by the generosity of the students to share their thoughts and recommended to their friends. But of course, I could never please everybody who came to my class, some may not like my class and did not turn up for second class, I am grateful to have many who like my teaching and appreciate the person as I am. After all I am another human being with own personalities which may not be accepted by everybody, and I am ok with that.
My mind is all about planning yoga sequence for different classes, sometimes even when I am meditating, the sequence comes to my mind. I am trying to be more mindful and I think the classes are eating me a little now. I am aware that teaching yoga is not my priority to be here, I should not sacrifice my time with my dad in order to teach more classes. I do not schedule classes after 8pm and most days ends by 7pm, I will make sure I have time to go out for dinner with my dad every night. That is my priority.
Teaching everyday, sometimes 4 classes a day can disturb my usual routine, I could not make much time for my own practice, this is something bothering me now. I gotta find a way to practice consistently.
Till then, hopefully I would write another blog about my thought after teaching 500 hours 🙂
Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavantu