Teaching Yoga: Become an Example of Tolerance

Teaching Yoga: Become an Example of Tolerance

yoga certificationBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Children begin to learn tolerance and empathy when they find themselves in a diverse group for the first time. Perhaps it is at daycare,  during preschool, or for some, it could be when they enter elementary school. Suddenly, they look at the people around them and see differences: varied hair colors and styles, different skin colors, short and tall kids, shy kids, and boisterous kids. Through various experiences, they learn how to understand and accept the differences among all of us. As we grow into adulthood, tolerance becomes about more than outward appearances. It becomes about differences in lifestyle, religion, politics, race, and values.


Tolerance in History

When we look at our world’s history, the issue of tolerance repeatedly arises. Our history is filled with religious persecution, race disputes, discrimination, and social hierarchies. All of these conflicts are the direct result of intolerance. Our world still faces issues of prejudice regularly. As more and more people choose to model tolerance, the results can only be positive.

The foundation of Yoga rests upon acceptance of one’s self and others. Yoga instructors are obligated to students always to model tolerant behavior. Tolerance in the classroom means accepting all of your students as they are. It means helping your students overcome barriers, both physical and mental. It means getting your limitations as a Yoga teacher and seeking the help of more experienced instructors.

As you model tolerance toward your students, they will feel comfortable in the Yoga class environment. This comfort will allow the students to grow in their Yoga practice while gaining self-confidence and inner peace. They can work hard at poses they thought were previously unattainable or accept their limitations and adapt each pose to suit their bodies.


Teaching and Tolerance

As a Yoga teacher, you will encounter all types of people. Sometimes, you will meet people who are negative and self-destructive. There will be times when you meet people who are overconfident and egotistical. It is easy to judge people or write them off with a glance, but as a Yoga instructor, you must be tolerant of all types of people. You will also find you have a class full of varied abilities. It’s essential to help those who need support while encouraging others who need a challenge to reach further. As you model tolerance, by patiently accepting and supporting your students, they will also become more tolerant of others and themselves.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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4 thoughts on “Teaching Yoga: Become an Example of Tolerance”

  1. Excellent article, once again! It is so important for us to practice tolerance and acceptance at all times. It is especially as a teacher to set positive examples. I work with adolescents, who tend to be very judgemental of each other and of themselves. They are constantly watching and listening to others as a means of trying to grow up and choose their path. This article has reminded me of this so that I continue to be aware of the importance of truely practicing the lessons that I teach!
    Anna B.

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