Having a regular Yoga practice has many benefits. The more you practice the more it affects your life and the better you feel. I asked some of our amazing teachers what Yoga has given them and why they continue to teach.
Here is what they said...
Senior Yoga Teacher
I was introduced to Yoga when I was 11. My year 6 teacher, Mrs Henderson, must have been way ahead of her time as we did a term of Yoga for school sport. I loved it even back then.
I always feel good after a Yoga class, even if I don't feel like going, at the end of the class I am always glad I did. I still feel this way even when I teach a class.
What is it about Yoga? For me it's the connection: to your inner self; with the people in the class; and with the people who come into the studio. When you have that connection, you feel centred and calm.
Often I describe the feeling at the end of the class as Yoga bliss. You see it in students' faces at the end of the class and you can feel it in the room. Then people start to tell you how Yoga has impacted their lives. They use the techniques when they are in stressful situations and they work. This is why I love Yoga and why I teach - because of how it has impacted my life and the lives of many of my students.
Yoga has given me space, calm and peace that I had never experienced before. I feel my cells zinging with life after doing a deep practice - a different experience compared to when I exercise. Yoga brings me back to me and once I tap into that deep sense of me, I feel that everything is ok, all is cool and everything will be fine.
I teach because I want to everyone to be able to experience that deep sense of calm and connection with a deeper part of themselves and to experience a 'mini holiday' for their mind, body and soul in one session. The ripple effect from doing yoga is huge on all aspects of people's lives.
It's so inspiring to see the impact on students after they've done a class - they are so blissed out! Even as little as five or ten minutes practice has a huge impact on us and taking just five long exhales resets your nervous system.
Yoga has provided me with knowledge and tools that I use every day. Yoga has taught me to slow down and develop more self-awareness and self-confidence. I have the tools to support myself in situations that arise in my life, and to manage these situations with kindness toward myself and others. During my teacher training I met like-minded people that I formed close friendships with and who I still see regularly.
Standing up in front of people was my biggest fear. However, by the end of my yoga teacher training I managed to get over this fear and now I love teaching. I love sharing what I have learnt about yoga so students can learn and experience the benefits of yoga themselves, not just physically but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Teaching allows me to develop my knowledge of asanas and yoga philosophy, through my own study and learning from students. Every student has a different body, a different background in yoga, exercise, injuries, illnesses as well as their own mental and emotional states. This makes each student unique, therefore I can learn something from every student that comes to my class. There is so much to be learnt and I know that I only know a small amount, yet I feel like I have learnt so much already. One of the biggest benefits of teaching yoga for me, is being in a community of like-minded people. Even when I have a day where I am not feeling my best, I always walk away feeling better after teaching.
Yoga has given me the gift of presence and insight. I started practicing when I was in college and my roommate was a teacher. I was a student in one of her classes, and I knew right away that I wanted to be a teacher too. It had never occurred to me before that I was not in control of my own mind. To actually stop and be aware of my next thought was a foreign concept to me—but humans have been practicing yoga and meditation for thousands of years! I know that in order for the oncoming era to be a prosperous one, in order for humanity to thrive and experience a modern Renaissance, we will all need to be taught the importance of mindfulness. That might come in the form of asana, pranayama, or meditation, but ultimately it is a deepening of the connection we feel with our immediate environment, and with the other people we meet. When these connections are strong, we will have the compassion to move beyond a world with nuclear weapons, war, and greed.