Perfection is a given expectation from the world around us, especially if you are a yoga teacher.
There are many perceptions, expectations & assumptions that stereotype yoga teachers & the moment you second guess yourself, it spirals into a vortex of self-doubt & judgments.
This blog aims at busting a few common stereotypes that society boxes yoga teachers into & reasons why you shouldn’t take it personally.
1. Yoga Teachers are perfect.
The image & persona of a yoga teacher is always that of a calm & composed individual who has her/his life sorted out. Yoga teachers personify purity & represent peace.
Truth bomb – As a yoga teacher, you are as human as everyone else and uniquely imperfect. Don’t let such remarks sabotage your self-growth. Remember, you are a work in progress. Embrace your flaws & be kind to yourself.
2. Yoga teachers know every asana
Most often than not, it is assumed by most well-meaning folks that a yoga teacher by profession is required to know and therefore is well-versed with every pose.
Truth bomb – You don’t have to be perfect with every asana & as a teacher, you are also a yoga student for life. So don’t be pressured to master every asana.
3. Yoga Teachers Practice Yoga All Day Everyday
Apart from teaching hours’ yoga teachers continue to work towards a self-practice or under the guidance of a teacher/guru.
Embrace your journey & commit to your self-practice no matter what.
As a teacher, teach what you know and show up with integrity for your students and yourself. Always remind yourself to take time off for your personal practice; it allows you to be a better teacher for your students.
A yoga teacher can never combine their practice while teaching. It is a huge disservice to both their practice and their students. Balancing the two roles of being a teacher & a student is vital.
4. Yoga teachers are skinny & lean.
Diversity is the spice of life. Don’t let your body shape be the yardstick of your profession. Being thin or lean is no benchmark for a committed and fully invested yoga teacher.
Don’t ever let this remark block your growth. Remember, we all are different no matter how we look, the colour of our skin or our body shape.
Much like our students come in different shapes, colours & sizes and the practice of yoga welcomes them all; similarly, you can carve your profession as a yoga teacher without letting these false expectations deter your decision.
Last but not least, much of what’s posted on mass media does not indicate the yoga community, so don’t let that be the standard for comparison or change.
5. Yoga teachers follow a sattvic lifestyle
Another popular stereotype in the yoga world & amongst society at large.
Consider that what you eat and drink is a personal choice. Yoga teachers adapt to a lifestyle that supports their practice and enhances their prana (life force).
However, it's wrong to assume that all yoga teachers must adapt to a sattvic lifestyle.
Yoga teachers are just as human as the rest of the world & it is not mandatory to adhere to a lifestyle just to fit in.
As a yoga teacher, you don’t have to succumb to this pressure & take it seriously.
We would love for you to share your thoughts, views and other stereotypes you’ve heard as a yoga teacher in the comments.
Let us together dispel these myths, celebrate our imperfections & encourage a community built on empathy, collective learning & support for each other.