10 Things You need to stop doing if you are a Yoga Teacher
1. Stop telling your students to roll up from a forward fold to mountain pose. This damages the vertebrae in the spine.
2. Stop telling students that they need to line up their pelvis as though they are between 2 panes of glass while in triangle pose. Triangle pose isn't about flexibility in the legs or squaring the pelvis, it is about side body release and engagement and utilizing your obliques.
2a. Stop telling your students to try to put their hand on the floor in triangle pose. See note above. Students are damaging the SI joint because of entering the pose this way.
3. Stop throwing pigeon pose randomly into your sequences. It is a complex posture that requires preparing the body for safe entry.
4. Stop pushing your students deeper into pigeon pose. As an RMT, I have seen some of your students for injuries related to this one!
5. Stop teaching your students to flow from Warrior 3 to Half Moon Pose or Revolved Half Moon Pose. This causes damage to the femur head and acetabulum of the pelvis and is a road that ends with hip replacement surgery.
6. Stop demo-ing the most advanced version of the pose so that your students know your qualified to teach them. Your students love you and they already know you are amazing. You don't need to impress them. What they need to see is how to access the pose from its rudimentary stages. They are there to learn. So teach them how to understand what it is that there own body needs. Show them how to actually practice yoga.
7. Learn what Vinyasa Krama is. Full stop.
8. Learn how to hold space for yourself and then bring this to your students by learning how to hold space for them.
9. Stop selling yourself short. Stop telling yoga studio owners that you aren't doing it for the money. Not everyone out there is ethical. The message you send, when you say this is that you are a person who can be taken advantage of. You may not have gotten into this profession for the money, but you are now in this profession, and you like everyone else on this planet, need to eat and pay your bills. Your time is valuable and what you offer is valuable. Stand up for yourself and expect fair compensation that honours your time for transit, preparation and teaching.
10. Continue to learn. A 200 hour certification is just the beginning. It may feel daunting at first, because most 300 hour trainings are going to cost more than your 200 hour did. But, a 200 hour certification is just the beginning. If this is your passion. Give it your whole heart and take the leap. If you ask those of us who have been in the industry and survived the industry these past 20 years, we will tell you, you have to LEAP. It won't always be easy, but it you set the intention and take the steps, things really do have a way of working themselves out. And it isn't WHO you have studied with that will distinguish you, but what you have LEARNED. It isn't about marketing or setting yourself apart from the pack. It is about doing the SELF work and the SELF care and experiencing the transformation of yoga on a deep level. And this will only come through going deeper into your sadhana.
10a. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR PERSONAL PRACTICE BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO BUSY TEACHING. You will burn out and what was once your joy will be stolen from you.
Stefani Wilton and Contributors
Finding beauty in the midst of joyous imperfection