If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in my studies of yoga it’s that you’ll never learn all that there is to know. There’s always more knowledge to be gained. I’ve also come to realize that about every four months I get a bit burned out and am in need of a workshop to rekindle my love for yoga. I start to feel like I’m saying the same things over and over again in my classes. Getting on my mat becomes a chore and the monkey mind takes over.
No matter what form of holistic wellness you practice, whether it be yoga, massage, ayurveda, acupuncture, or others, it is important that you remain inspired. It’s crucial that practitioners never think that their journey toward knowledge is over, but rather, it has only just begun. And try to never look at your profession as a confining job. Remember that you came to it because you loved it and believed in it.
Stay Fresh in Your Yoga Practice and Teaching
1. Read all the time.
I read books on yoga nearly every day. I set aside at least 30 minutes to an hour to study the texts in some way. This shouldn’t be painful, it should be a subject that you’re interested in and deepening your knowledge is an added bonus. I alternate reading magazines and simple articles from Yoga Journal and the like, with the more thought provoking texts like the Sutras, Heart of Yoga, Bhagavad Gita, and Light on Yoga. I’ll throw in a novel or two for inspiration like Eat, Pray, Love or a newer book like Happy Yoga or Jivamukti Yoga. The choices are limitless but there is just so much to learn. And every new item that you learn from your readings leaves you saying. “Huh, who knew? I never thought of it that way.” And this is all knowledge that you can pass on to your students.
2. Yoga Workshops
As I said before about every four months I begin to feel drained of knowledge and my practice needs a spring cleaning. After I finished my 200 hour yoga training, I immediately signed up for my 500 hour training so that I could continue to absorb all the wonderful knowledge of yoga teachers that have been teaching much longer than me. I wanted to surround myself with teachers that have experience with every type of injury and every type of student and teachers who have alignment down to a science. While Western yoga doesn’t adhere to the guru in the way that yoga in India does, for some of us, it is still realistic to follow a guru around the world and learn only from them. For me, I am inspired by so many gurus, I don’t yet feel that I have been called to follow one in particular.
3. Add Music to Your Repertoire
If you’re having trouble getting on your mat in the morning (or whenever you practice) consider adding some music to the mix. I used to practice without any music because I thought it was a distraction, but some yogic music can be really moving like Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, and Robert Gass. Sometimes I’ll include chanting with Steve Ross and others. You don’t have to use music every day, but it can be fun for a change.
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