I meant to write this post yesterday but a) my day became unexpectedly busy + b) I didn’t have the guts to do it. Yes - I had a fear of being open about my Yoga teaching fear. Irony!
So, here it is:
My biggest fear, as a Yoga teacher, is that I will hurt someone.
*exhale* It feels so good to say that publicly. Naturally, the subject has come up in Yoga Teacher Training. Danielle’s response still sticks with me:
[As a Yoga teacher], my job is to help people de-stress & strengthen through movement, not to prescribe or diagnose. I can’t “fix” them. Their body is their responsibility.
I would never advise someone to push their body far beyond their comfort zone, but I also don’t want anyone to be stuck in their preconcieved notion of what they can or can’t do. Pushing limits is good, but like anything, you can push it too far.
As a teacher, how do I encourage exploration without inducing injury?
In our modern times, we are extremely disconnected with our own bodies. As a Yoga teacher, I feel that part of my job is to help folks reconnect with their bodies + the uniqueness each body possesses.
Also common these days is an overwhelming sense of “needing” to compete - anywhere + everywhere. In a Yoga class, competing is the last thing you should be spending your mental + physical energy on, but many still do.
Body disconnection + urge to compete = injury, sooner or later!
Legally, possible injury is addressed with liability wavers, which nearly every Yoga student signs before practicing. That is not my concern. I’d simply have a hard time ethically … emotionally accepting that when I tried to help someone, I ended up hurting them instead.
(Thought, technically, it wouldn’t be me that injured them - it would be the student’s own injury because they didn’t listen to their body … but that doesn’t stop me from feeling guilty - at least not yet.)
I like to think that, as my Yoga teaching career progresses, I’ll become more confident +/or comfortable with my student’s risk of injury.
In turn, this issue also extends to my own personal confidence as a teacher. The more I teach, the more comfortable I’ll become leading others + helping them find the edge of their comfort zone.
Summary: my curiosity (+ desire to help others) is strong than my fear :)
(Art source: TheLetterBetty on Etsy)