Focus & Communication —
Two Skills a Yoga Teacher Needs
In the universe of skills you need to develop during your yoga instructor training, two of the most vital are: learning how to focus and learning how to communicate effectively. Your training will teach you both skills, but first you must learn to listen. While you will learn to focus outside yourself, you also may find freedom as you focus within.
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”
Drishti is a valuable technique for keeping your focus on reality. During yoga instructor training, you will practice developing the concentration you will need when you assume the role of teacher. In the meanwhile, maintain drishti while performing your own daily yoga routine. Your attention follows your eyes, so you must learn how to overcome the distractions of the world. In a classroom, you may have students who giggle, dress inappropriately or come to class unwashed. When you begin teaching, whether for yourself or for another, you will accrue bills and responsibilities that may lead to worry and stress. At all times, the world presses in to distract you. Even while you are immersed in yoga instructor training, you will be tempted to judge your instructors, your fellow students and the center itself. Never is it more important to develop the yoga technique called drishti.
Practice Seeing Truth
To still your racing mind, strive to eliminate distractions and see the world as it is. While training to become a yoga teacher, learn to see the world through a soft gaze that guides your focus to the inner essence of a thing. Students often struggle to force their gazes away from a thing that pulls on their attention. Instead, maintain a non-judgmental, detached gaze. When your inner peace becomes disrupted and the distractions around you scream for attention, that’s when you must find stability and balance. If you cannot tame your thoughts, focus on people and things outside yourself; when the environment beckons your attention, focus on the peace within. In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali explains that too often you don’t see the world as it truly is. Instead, you become deluded with false premises and wrong perceptions. As part of yoga instructor training, you will discover how to end the confusion wrought by false illusions. Then you will see the world correctly.
“Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at that moment. It is part of the isness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do, you suffer.”
Share the Focus
The relationships you form during your yoga instructor training serve as the basis upon which you will build your own yoga following. The relationship that exists between the student and the teacher goes beyond the physical, but this inner connection requires focus to survive in the outer world. The link that exists between the compassionate teacher and the devoted student can endure with conscious attention. In your yoga instructor training, you are but a student. When experienced teachers, such as those you’ll encounter at the Asheville Yoga Center, show you kindness and inspiration, you will naturally develop deep respect for them. Your bond will grow as you endure the challenges of an immersion learning process. The experience will leave you with a longing to lead your own classes and develop a similar bond with your students. To achieve this level of focus, listen and hear how your teachers communicate that reality.
Listen and Become Ready
In yoga instructor training, you must be able to listen to the lessons and hear the truth. Communication is a two-way street, but during your training, you must sit squarely in the receiver’s seat. If your goal is to become like your teacher, learn how to give the compassion and wisdom that you so richly receive in your program. Your role is to listen and inherit the blessings communicated to you during training. Once you have perfected the ability to focus on the kindness of your teachers, once you can intuit how they communicate with love the principles embodied in your yoga instructor training, then the relationship of teacher and student is ready to turn around. And you will inherit the role of teacher.
“A person experiences life as something separated from the rest — Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.”