Being a Good Teacher, and a Good Person

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There’s a wonderful opportunity we all have as teachers.  It could be yoga we’re teaching, or tai chi, or anything at all.  We have this opportunity to help each other find our own way.  To discover some of the biggest things there are to learn – some of the most important knowledge there is – isn’t the kind that comes from outside of us.  It’s the kind that comes from inside.  So it’s good to know this.  It’s also good to practice it.  That’s how we make it real.

Take yoga as an example. There’s always this moment that comes up for teachers – where we can adjust someone, fix them, correct them. Maybe sometimes we need to do this. If you’re an alpine guide and someone is approaching a hidden crevasse, it’s not the best time to watch and see if they might find their own way.  It’s time to intervene.  Same with yoga.  If someone’s knee is about to fall off – they’re in some immediate danger of hurting themselves or someone else – it’s time to step in. But mostly, that’s not where we are in life.


Mostly the dangers we face are not so immediate.  So we have this much bigger opportunity.  We have this chance to steer clear of externally manipulating people into our idea of what’s right – and instead support each other to discover our own way. To come into agreement with ourselves, each of us, from the inside.


When people get to slow down, tune in to how they feel, and practice responding to themselves – something big happens.  We stop pushing to get into poses or forms. We stop struggling to line up with other people’s ideas about what we should be, what we should look like and do.  We begin to make our own way, out of ourselves.  So the form isn’t something we memorize or copy – whether it’s yoga, tai chi, or whatever we’re practicing.  It’s something that arises out of us, out of our own nature, when we’re in a practice of uncovering that nature.  Releasing stress, getting out of our own way, and finding harmony in our bodies and minds.  It’s inspiring to watch.  It’s inspiring to support each other on this path.


You want to be around these people, when this is happening. They’re creating great things in the world. Because they’re creating great things in themselves.


On a physical level, this helps with people getting hurt.  Because this way, people don’t get hurt.  Which is a bit different from the reality of yoga.  So many people – practicers and teachers alike – get hurt in their practice.  And so often the harm comes from ideas.  Ideas about what’s right for everyone, what we should all look like, and be like.


And maybe as much, this harm can begin in ideas about what it means to be a teacher.  We might think a teacher needs to know everything.  A teacher should even know more about a person than they do about themselves.  It’s not a great position to be in.  So much better to support each other along this path of feeling, self-discovery, self-creation.


When people are feeling, they don’t push or force themselves in a way that injures. Knees, shoulders, wrists, back, hips – all stay feeling good. If someone isn’t feeling – if they think they really need to get into a pose – we can be a good teacher, when we have something good in our selves here. We can support them to feel, to shift from pose goals to feeling goals. Sometime that’s mirroring someone in a warrior 2, to guide the knee into stable territory. Sometimes that’s simply touching someone, making a connection that helps them to breathe and relax. From here, people feel. From here, people find their own way into feeling good. Everybody wants to feel good.

It also means people don’t get hurt on a psychological level. Ignoring how we feel – pushing into other people’s goals, other people’s ways of looking and living – is not so good. It doesn’t help us with where we mostly want to go.


Realizing we can support each other through our own way of being – to feel and create radiant health and happiness – this is life-changing.

We make yoga for everyone by making our own yoga. We make an inspiring world for everyone by making our own inspiring world.


Our best work as teachers isn’t to be above anyone.  And it’s definitely not to know everything.  So often it’s to be here, together, in this experience.  And when you’re fully here – connecting with yourself, learning to move well in your life – this way of being is inspiring.  It also makes you a good person.  Which happens to make you a good teacher.

– by Mike


About Strala Yoga Training

Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.

It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.

In our Strala Yoga Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.

Who’s What’s and When’s of Strala Yoga Training