By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Let’s bust a few Yoga teacher myths that we hear too often. Yoga teachers are often seen as being close to immortal, never getting sick, and always having boundless energy. However, these are just myths. Like everyone else, Yoga instructors can get sick and feel the effects of aging. Of course, some Yoga teachers may seem like they never get sick or look like they’re getting any older, but that’s because they take care of themselves and are mindful of their health. So don’t believe the myth that yoga teachers are invincible – they’re just like everyone else.
Teach Yoga in the Morning Only
Of the many Yoga teacher myths, this one defies logic and still survives. Of course, the purpose of this theory is based upon higher levels of prana in the morning hours. Today, people commute to work and have different schedules. We are not all on the same schedule. While it’s true that many people practice Yoga in the morning, there’s no reason you can’t do it at any time of day. Yoga is a great way to start your day but also a great way to wind down at night. There are even some poses that are specifically designed to help our students sleep better.
Yoga Teachers Must be Young and Fit
This is one of the classic Yoga teacher myths many of us didn’t officially teach until middle age. Yoga Instructors come in all shapes and sizes. While it is true that some Yoga teachers are young and fit, there are also many older and less physically fit Yoga teachers. Yoga is a discipline open to people of all ages and fitness levels. There are Yoga classes specifically for seniors or people with physical limitations. So, don’t let the myth that all Yoga teachers must be young and fit deter you from trying Yoga or deciding to teach classes.
Only Women Teach Yoga
This is one of the more interesting Yoga teacher myths. For example, historically, teachers were males. When Yoga moved out of India, female students mastered the practice. It’s a common misconception that only women can teach yoga. In reality, anyone can become a Yoga teacher, regardless of gender. Many men are successful Yoga teachers. The important thing is that you have a passion for Yoga and a desire to help others learn and grow in their practice.
Yoga Teachers Must be Thin
There are many myths about Yoga teachers, one of which is that they must be thin. However, this is not the case. While some Yoga instructors may be thin, there are plenty of teachers who are not. Yoga teachers come in all shapes and sizes, and what matters most is their ability to teach effectively. So, if you’re thinking about becoming a Yoga teacher, know that your dream is a matter of self-empowerment and self-esteem.
You Must be Extremely Flexible
There is a common misconception that you must be extremely flexible to teach Yoga. While it is helpful to be flexible, you do not need to be able to demonstrate every pose. Most importantly, you have a good understanding of the poses. The knowledge you gain enables your students to modify techniques as needed. Many teachers walk around the class verbally or physically, assisting students during class.
Yoga Teachers Know Magical Cures
One of the popular myths about Yoga teachers is that they know magical cures for everything. Regarding liability, this is not an area for teachers to go. While it’s true that Yoga can help improve overall health, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Everybody is different and will respond to Yoga in different ways. A good Yoga teacher will tailor classes to help each student, providing modifications and variations to suit each person’s needs. A wise teacher will advise students to consult medical professionals for medical issues.
Teaching Yoga is Religious
Sometimes, people believe that teaching Yoga is religious. If classes are designed for a specific religion, it will be stated within the church, temple, or shrine. However, this is not the case in public classes. Yoga is a practice that can be done by anyone, regardless of their religion. Some people who practice Yoga are not religious at all. Public Yoga classes aim to promote physical and mental well-being, not to engage in any particular religion. Generally, public classes tend to be universal, and everyone is welcome.
Teach Yoga in the Morning Only
Of the many Yoga teacher myths, this one defies logic. Of course, the sources is based upon higher levels of prana in the morning hours. Today, people commute to work and have different schedules. We are not all on the same schedule. While it’s true that many people practice Yoga in the morning, there’s no reason you can’t do it at any time of day. Yoga is a great way to start your day but also a great way to wind down at night. There are even some poses that are specifically designed to help our students sleep better.
Stretching and Breathing Equal Yoga
Yoga is more than just stretching and breathing exercises. It is a system of many physical and mental exercises that helps to improve overall health. Yoga teachers can help students learn the proper techniques for each exercise and provide guidance on how to make the most of their practice.
Teaching Yoga is Boring
Yoga teachers are often considered boring, but this is a myth. Yoga teachers are givers, passionate about their work, and strive to provide their students with the best possible experience. They are always looking for new and innovative ways to teach Yoga and constantly expanding their knowledge to serve their students better. Yoga teachers are also very supportive and encouraging, creating a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
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