Teaching Yoga Without Ego ~Kino MacGregor

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Teaching yoga is a responsibility to uphold the spiritual tradition of yoga.

This sacred task is not to be taken lightly because every teacher carries the torch that will light the path ahead for future generations of yoga students. If the teacher fails then the student is left without a clear guiding light. But yoga teachers are not yet enlightened beings. We are human beings walking the spiritual path ourselves and the best we can hope for is to share the learning that we have received with others in as clear and present a way as possible. The best space for teaching yoga is one that is equanimous and compassionate. If the teacher’s ego gets involved then it becomes impossible to create the neutral ground for yoga to happen. Whenever the personal ego is triggered, either in a positive or negative manner, the ego itself clouds the path ahead. One of the best qualities of a yoga teacher is the ability to believe in a student more than the student believes in themselves. In order to draw out greatness from the student the teacher has to love the student completely and see their power before the student sees it themselves.

The adoration that a yoga teacher receives from their students can easily lead to ego-aggrandizement.

The bigger the praise the easier it is to start believing it yourself. The danger from positive comments comes when you take in so many of them that you start to think that your work is done and that you have arrived at the end goal of the spiritual path. This hubris creates a division between yourself and your students which can only lead to further delusion and suffering. Whether you receive a complaint from one student in a small class or the attention from teaching at a big yoga festival it is best to keep the ego in check and remember that every teacher of yoga is first and foremost a student. Practicing gratitude for your students with the realization that it is only because of them that you are considered a teacher is yet another way to maintain humility. Maintaining a calm, steady mind that is free from attachment and aversion is the real work of yoga.

Take a class with Kino at this summer's upcoming Hanuman Festival, Jun 12-15, 2014.