In his book, The Tree of Yoga, B. K. S. Iyengar's last chapter is about yoga teachers. Here are some of his thoughts about yoga and yoga teachers:
1. Yoga teachers should quit bragging about having been in India
Here is what yoga master, Iyengar states so clearly: "I remember very well when India was under the power of England and France. Indians who had visited Europe used to put a notice in their houses proclaiming 'France returned' or 'England returned' as if theyh were extraordinay and privileged persons. The same thing is happening now in yoga. Students from the West come to India and 'India returned' yogis are teaching yoga all over the place....God alone know how much experience they have or what is the quality of their work."
2. Yoga teachers should not teach if they don't have a personal practice.
Iyengar is tired of hearing from yoga instructors who say they don't have a personal practice but "nevertheless know what they are doing. I tell them they should stop teaching if they do not practice for themselves." He also warns cautions teachers not to go "beyond the frontiers of your knowledge."
3. Done properly, yoga teaching is very challenging.
"It is relatively easy to be a teacher of an academic subject, but to be a teacher in an art is very difficult, and to be a yoga teacher is the hardest of all," he says. Why? Because a good yoga teacher has to be self-critical in order to improve his or her practice; because a good yoga teacher has to understand how the body works; because a good yoga teacher has to understand his or her student's bodies and how to best respond and protect them.
4, Yoga teacher must always be learning.
"They will learn from their pupils and must have the humility to tell them that they are still earning their art," he says and adds that a good yoga teacher is a very positive person who instill confidence in the student.
5. Yoga is a spiritual practice.
"To live spiritually is to live in the present moment," Iyengar notes. Yoga becomes a deeply spiritual practice "as long as no other thoughts come to you" and you remain in the moment and fully in the pose.
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