Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Courage and Teaching Yoga: Setting Boundaries

stick to these boundaries
By: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed

One of the most challenging aspects of day-to-day life for many of us, is to set appropriate boundaries and to stick to these boundaries without apology. There are so many demands on our time, financial resources and attention, that it is imperative to find a balance between your own individual needs and the needs of those around you. This balance can be quite tricky to find, to be sure. Many times, our own needs are interwoven with the needs of those around us, which makes it difficult to identify and establish appropriate boundaries for ourselves. 

The challenging task of finding a healthy balance between your own needs and the needs of those around you is very evident when you are teaching a Yoga class. For instance, you may have a strong need for all of your students to arrive ina timely fashion, put away all of their personal belonging and turn their cell phones on silent before stepping onto the mat. It may feel very disrespectful and distracting to you as a Yoga teacher, to have a number of your students straggle in to class ten minutes late, and then proceed to check their text messages when they finally do step onto the mat! 

However, what you may not realize is that the student who is ten minutes late has just rushed from work, in order to take your class. Or the Yoga student who is constantly checking her text messages has a child in the hospital. The scenarios are almost endless. By maintaining a degree of personal communication with your students, you are more likely to be aware of the personal life circumstances, which may be creating a situation that predisposes them to being late quite frequently. On the other hand, clearly communicating your need to have your Yoga students on their mats and ready to start class in a timely manner is also just as important. 

As a Yoga teacher, you may find it to be challenging to put your own needs front and center, even just for a few minutes at the beginning or ending of a class. These are time periods during a class when students will often either come late or want to leave early. By explicitly stating your strong preference for your students to be on time and stay for Shavasana, you will be establishing appropriate boundaries during your Yoga classes and embodying the spirit of courage. 

At the same time, by maintaining a flexible stance on the boundaries you have established for your Yoga classes, you will also encourage those students who have very busy schedules or transportation issues to attend your classes. One of the most likely reasons that you have chosen to pursue a career as a certified Yoga teacher is the desire to serve others. By teaching Yoga in a competent, kind manner, you pave the way for your students to benefit physically and emotionally from a comprehensive practice of asanas, meditation techniques and calming breathing exercises. 

In addition, it is important to remember that your Yoga students learn more optimal ways of navigating difficult situations in their own lives, when they watch how you handle difficulties in your classes and in your personal interactions with your students. A sense of fairness and compromise with your students will go a long way towards exemplifying a state of balance, intuition and wisdom. Not only is a state of balance and being centered a hallmark of a great Yoga teacher, this state is also indicative of a dedicated Yoga practitioner, who is putting the profound teachings of Yoga into practice in his or her own life.

Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York, where she specializes in writing customized articles that are 100% unique. She is currently accepting Yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at:

© Copyright 2015 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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1 comment:

parvezbdjsr said...

By maintaining a degree of personal communication with students a teacher can create a situation that predisposes them to being late quite frequently.