What is the essence of yoga teaching: skill or connection?

2 min read

As a Virgo and someone who is involved in the training of yoga teachers, I am prone to notice every detail as I attend a class. There is a lot of variation in the way a yoga teacher can guide a class, but there are some basic skills that are often missing or not present.

The other day, I was in a class taught by a teacher that lacked some important skills. There was little intelligence in the sequence of the flow. There were also many language habits, which I would compare to radio static.

Essence is all about it.

It was interesting to me that I didn’t have a big reaction. I didn’t feel the need to leave the room, and my mind was not occupied by the drip of techniques that were less than optimal.

The energy in the room after the class was sweet and connected. The students merely thanked the class. Although it wasn’t technically my favorite yoga practice, I felt no resentment.

It was only when I reflected on this that it dawned on me: it’s really all about the essence. I can help a teacher improve their skills and technique, but I cannot change the nature of their being.

Essence versus form

Life experiences, relationships, difficulties, and processes form the internal substance of our development.

This is why I am so passionate about “Living Yoga” because putting on an outer mask of Yoga does not mean that you are choosing to engage in the teachings and practices that help us evolve at a deeper level.

In our culture, in particular, the debate between essence and form is of vital importance. We are encouraged in so many ways to invest in the outer world, giving it an appearance of beauty, confidence, and self-worth. What is really inside?

We can tell when someone is not being honest with themselves if we are sensitive enough. It’s a taste — sweet or sour.

Although I appreciate a teacher with refined skills, I’d choose to attend a class taught by someone who is more connected and has less skill.

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