By Kimaya Singh
Before discussing tips on becoming a Yoga master, we must ascertain what such an honorary title means. When is one a Yoga master? Should they teach one thousand or twenty thousand hours before acquiring such a title? Some alpha-numeric designations don’t do justice to the Gurus who have taught for over ten thousand hours.
How Many Hours?
Hatha Yoga is just one of the nine main Yoga styles. There is a wide variety of Hatha Yoga teacher training programs available to aspiring Yoga teachers worldwide. Many programs offer a 500-hour professional-level “master” Yoga teacher certification. Most 500-hour graduates have only 100 hours of teaching under their belts. There are teachers with decades of teaching experience. Should we have a designation for grandmaster if someone has been teaching for more than 50 years?
At this level, you are supposedly considered to be a professional “Yoga Master.” However, classically speaking, a Yoga master is an individual who was venerated by householders and sages alike for being “self-realized” and permanently steeped in the awareness of the all-pervasive experience of God’s love within his or her own heart.
A true Guru, Swami, or Yoga master does not present him or herself as such. Instead, the yogi or yogini’s level of accomplishment would be evident through his or her behavior, understanding, speech, and affect on other people. According to Indian tradition, a true Yoga master would also be a disciple of a long lineage of authentic Yoga masters, stretching far back in time, even as far back as Shiva. A true Yoga master would also usually have a group of dedicated initiates following his or her teachings.
If you aspire to become a true Yoga master, you must embrace and nurture the divine qualities within yourself. Qualities include love, compassion, dignity, truthfulness, and purity of action. You must also live your life in an honorable and dharmic way. To truly elevate and uplift the people around you, you must first be imbued with divine grace and the constant remembrance of the divine love that permeates all reality.
As a Yoga master, when you walk into a room, your presence will uplift the people around you. To stay in such a great state, you must stay strongly connected to the divine energy source. To accomplish this goal, it is paramount to maintain a daily sadhana practice of meditation, contemplation, pranayams, kirtan, and Yoga asanas. The more connected and aligned you are with your divine nature, the more you will be able to inspire and uplift the people around you.
The Journey of a Lifetime
Becoming a Yoga master is not about precision in difficult Yoga asanas. To bear the honorary title of a Yoga master, you must first be in a constant state of remembrance of God. Ultimately, your journey to becoming a Yoga master is a journey of learning to love unconditionally. Not just others but yourself as well.
As you become permanently steeped in divine love and serenity, your presence will automatically elevate and uplift not only your Yoga students but all those with whom you contact only daily. Only then will you be worthy of the “Yoga Master.”
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