The traditional 3 paths of yoga outlined in the Bhagavad Gita provide a useful framework for deconstructing the work of the hatha yoga teacher:
Karma Yoga, The Path of Action
The disciplines we practice and teach. Asana, pranayama and the actions we perform, study, and refine within these practices.
The actions we use to teach: concrete skills including planning and preparation, the cues we give, the adjustments we make, the attention with which we observe our students.
Jnana Yoga, The Path of Knowledge
The understanding that informs these practices, including the teachings of our tradition.
The larger context we hold for the practice that evolves out of a combination of study, reflection and personal, inner experience.
The wisdom that gives rise to what we convey (whether overtly or subtly) when we teach. This includes the physical and energetic space we create through our welcoming, our interactions and our sheer presence.
Bhakti Yoga, The Path of Devotion
How the first two coalesce into a concrete, integrated and impactful offering.
The unique and particular way our skills and knowledge come together so we can effectively offer and teach others what we have learned, experienced, assimilated, integrated.
Viewed in this light we can appreciate the nuances and the complexity of what we bring to the class experience and the many skills that bring to bear on our offering as professional teachers.
It makes sense that in order to progress and sharpen our skills we need address each of these three areas. This is why my Skilful Yogi Teacher Mentoring Program leads committed teachers through a progression of engagement with your personal practice, deepening your understanding of yogic wisdom and refining your teaching skills.
Our Fall session is presently helping teachers in Canada and the US become better teachers with the support of local and online learning communities. It’s a unique and valuable opportunity for those of us who view our teaching as an integral part of our journey along the ever-unfolding path of yoga.
If you are a yoga teacher looking to take your teaching to the next level, I hope you’ll consider joining us for our winter session, which begins in February 2016.