Personal & Professional Development: Practice & Knowledge

In the section above we discuss the foundation of prioritizing personal practice and self-study—looking inward. And here we highlight an aspect of personal and professional development that involves seeking outside of us for input.

  • Excellent teaching requires a wide and deep knowledge base and skillful application of yoga teachings. This naturally requires studying teachings on philosophy, anatomy, biomechanics, and so forth. It’s not possible to be “done” with the study of yoga or the learning of ways to support students.
  • There is always a way to be further inspired and empowered!
  • Be curious and intent on improvement.
  • Solicit feedback on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Invite awareness of personal weaknesses and mistakes and enthusiastically embrace personal and professional development.
  • The bottom line here is that every good teacher remains a lifelong student.

Solicit Feedback from Students

The best advice I would give a new teacher is to ask for and be open to feedback from your students. Listen, reflect, and then either take it in or let it go; but remaining open to their feedback is important, as it could be the only way the universe can give us the guidance that we need. – Desiree Rumbaugh

Solicit Feedback from Loved Ones

If you’re having a hard time finding any of your own ego serving habits? Try asking a good friend, or better yet your significant other, the longer you’ve been with them the better! – Ryan Leech

The More You Know You Don’t Know

There is no end to how much we can learn and evolve as teachers. True to the maxim posited by the Greek philosopher Aristotle that “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know,” the further you go in your training, learning, and experience as a yoga teacher, the more you’ll realize that there’s an infinite universe of knowledge and wisdom to bring to the practice. This becomes more abundantly clear as we come to better appreciate and understand our students which is absolutely essential if we are to guide them well in their practice. – Mark Stephens

There’s Always More to Learn

At the end of my life there [will] still be undiscovered treasures out there… Even after more than 25 years of practicing, an excellent 500-hour teacher training, numerous special workshops, and ongoing independent studies of yoga history and philosophy, there is still so much I don’t know. – Nina Zolotow

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