Full of judgement
At first I didn’t like the class at all, she pushed me to try poses my body hadn’t tried before.
I was annoyed and shaking and sweating and probably began to pout.
Then, after the third time she adjusted me, I began to feel safe with her adjustments.
She could see how my body was out of alignment and firmly, but safely, adjusted my position so that I could get the most from each pose.
Embracing my imperfections
Half way through the class, as I looked down to notice sweat drops pouring onto my mat, I began to feel comfortable and embraced my imperfections.
My body trembled, I stumbled through transitions and I released some of the new poses before others in the class.
I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud at one of the poses. I was clearly in an advanced class.
Getting out of my comfort zone
I felt really good about trying my best and began to think about a few things…
I haven’t felt uncomfortable in a while. I tend to do the same yoga practices, often at home, without someone to teach me personally.
I often do the same mindfulness meditation practices.
Don’t get me wrong, I find these practice beneficial and attend to each of them with a beginners mind, so I always learn something about myself.
What I did realize is that to grow and change we need to go through the uncomfortable process of developing new skills or muscles.
What makes a good yoga teacher
I began to reflect on what makes a good yoga teacher for me.
I like a yoga teacher who can see what my body is capable of and will firmly guide my body to that position and teach me how to hold it.
This allows me to feel safe and to engage new muscles in order to hold the pose.
I want my teacher to teach me about the muscles and movements of the poses.
I want my teacher to guide me in focusing my mind and using my breath, to achieve the full benefits of my practice.
I’ve been to many classes (mostly in large gyms) where teachers don’t provide adjustments or do much teaching about the purpose behind the move.
That doesn’t work for me.
Today I remembered what makes a good teacher for me and how important it is to find a good fit.
Me as a teacher
I try to remember this as a mindfulness meditation teacher and hope that my style teaches people in ways that both push and support them to deepen their practice.
Next year I plan to take my Yoga Teacher Training. I’m very excited about this and realize that I need to start pushing myself in my practice.
I’m glad I’ve found a teacher who will help take me to the next level.
What about you?
What makes a good teacher for you? Either a yoga teacher or meditation teacher? What makes them a good fit for you? Let me know in the comments below.
My hope is to build a supportive online community for people learning and practicing mindfulness meditation and yoga so please share this with others how practice.