Do you ever wonder how Movement for Modern Life gets away with saying that we handpick the ‘Best Teachers?’ Or are you the kind of person who wonders if there is a best teacher? Hey, aren’t we all yoga teachers?
Not All Teachers Are Created Equally
Well, this is my personal take on it. My philosophy is yes, we are all yoga teachers in the great big journey of life. But for the teaching of yoga poses, I’m so sorry, but not all teachers are created equally.
Yoga poses require a massive attention to detail, attention and knowledge of anatomy as well as of yoga philosophy and to teach yoga is such a gift, only those most dedicated to yoga, who give their lives to yoga, can be called true teachers.
Advanced Poses don’t mean Advanced Yogis
This is how i have come to this conclusion. I first learnt yoga when I was 18 in India, and largely taught myself from a book. I then was a beginner yogi for the next decade or so, just learning, seeing absorbing and unable to discriminate one teacher from the next.
In my mid-twenties, I basically thought that the teacher who could get into the most ‘advanced’ pose was the most advanced teacher. And I thought that the teachers who could force my body into the most advanced positions were also the most advanced teachers.
The bliss of youth!
In that stage, frighteningly, I also was a full-time yoga teacher (thankfully, only ‘for a bit’!).
Then I went through some interesting life events (car crash causing severe movement limitation, divorce causing a near breakdown and dog’s cancer causing depression).
And my view of what makes a good yoga teacher has changed.
For me, a great yoga teacher is a person who has been through the mill and out again. Has learned life lessons with humility, modesty and sees their entire life through the veil of the philosophies of yoga. People who have life and yoga wisdom to share with you.
Because only when people have practiced for at least over a decade, maybe two – do the teachings start to seep into the bones. Only when you’ve taught thousands of people over decades do you see how to describe yoga in a way that causes their students truly life-changing experiences.
I do have a couple of younger teachers on the site – whom I adore for their raw energy and passion, but their dedication to teaching has been proven time and time again, which is how they get through the net!
Horses For Courses
There are horses for courses. We all are on different journeys in life. But when I say the ‘Best Teachers’, I don’t mean those lovely folks who just started their yoga journey and come fresh off their teacher training courses.
I don’t mean those super-talented and often bendy individuals who seem able to hold pincha mayurasana whilst taking a selfie.
I don’t mean the people who have their marketing yoga name before they have learnt to quiet the mind.
I don’t meant the people who are busy taking pictures of their students in class to actually do the teaching.
I do mean those people who have given up their ‘everything’ to dedicate their lives to an incredibly complex, often challenging and lonely career of changing other people’s lives through an adept combination of tradition with the relevant.
For me (again, an entirely personal take on yoga), the best teachers study the eastern philosophy and roots of yoga as much as they study the effects on the anatomy and the brain and they find ways to distill this wisdom in a down to learn, caring way.
Yoga For Dinner
I know, every teacher has to start somewhere. When I started teaching, now 20 years ago, I subjected my family and friends to my yoga in exchange for everyone bringing a dish for dinner. After years of this, I taught public classes.
And then I tapped myself on the shoulder and dismissed myself from the role. I’m a pretty good teacher. But I’m not ‘The Best’.
And that, folks, is why I’m not on MFML, why I’m absolutely passionate about spreading the work of those select teachers, and why we have some incredibly experienced, dedicated wise teachers on the site.
I see it that they have dedicated their entire lives to exploring the journey of yoga – so that we don’t have to.
The Best Teachers are Your Teachers
So when you have YouTube wonders or folks from other sites who haven’t had quite the experiences ours have, and you wonder why when you ask if you can teach on MFML and we say ‘no’, you’ll know why we pride ourself on saying that all teachers are not created equally and you can trust us for a handpicked selection of ‘The Best’.
Written with love and with the deepest respect for our teachers