In Yoga philosophy, there are the 5 Yamas or the 5 moral disciplines to live by. The last of these 5 yamas is Aparigraha or Non possessiveness / Non Attachment. .
This precept can be subtle and difficult to live by. I’m going to explain what it means to me personally as far as the teacher/student relationship in Yoga goes. .
When I first started practicing yoga I also first started unconsciously attaching myself to different yoga teachers—some had great playlists, others were so charismatic, some explained postures in a simple, digestible way—this is a very natural thing as a human to form attachments. It struck me when a mentor said, “I can go to any yoga class and have a good class because it’s me and my breath.” Whoa! This was eye opening for me. My yoga practice had everything to do with ME, not the teacher, I had to become responsible for my practice. .
Then I began teaching yoga. I grew accustomed to seeing the same faces every week. It was fun to guide and watch students grow in their yoga practice. Before I knew it I had unconsciously grown attachment to my students. I know I’m not the only yoga teacher who has unconsciously (or consciously) done this. I have heard teachers (and in my early teaching days probably done this myself) boast about class numbers or advanced students.
This is quite problematic because a good yoga teacher wants you to come to class and grow, but a GREAT yoga teacher wants you to grow to the point that You-Don’t-Need-Them-Anymore. You become just as Empowered in your Practice and start listening to your Intuition in regards to your yoga practice and hopefully life. .
I did some personal work to cut this need for self validation from others. Now I just teach. To teach. Because I love teaching. Because I love Yoga. Because I can’t imagine not sharing something that Empowered me to be my best self with others.
Teaching 1 student or 50–it’s all the same.
Teaching Beginners Class or Advanced—it’s all the same.
Yoga is Yoga.