Yoga: teaching the unteachable

As I get ready to leave for a YTT weekend – slowly creeping closer to the 200 RYT – here is what’s on my mind:

Can you ever really teach yoga?

You can teach someone to sew. You can teach someone to read. You can teach someone to do a cartwheel. These are all things that have an endpoint. Someday you’re done learning and you just say “I can ___”.

Yoga isn’t a skill. There aren’t people who can do yoga and people who can’t do yoga like there are people who can wiggle their ears and people who can’t.

So we aren’t really teaching yoga are we? We’re teaching mindfulness, breath, patience, compassion, persistence, faith, belief in ourselves, and belief in each other. We’re teaching love, understanding, and peace. And, like yoga, these aren’t things that can be mastered, checked off a list. They’re things that continue to grow, develop, and deepen inside of us.

I’m going to use this weekend to remind myself I’m guiding people into yoga, not teaching them. I’m introducing them to asanas and showing them the connection between the breath and the body, and they are learning yoga without me.



9 responses to “Yoga: teaching the unteachable

  1. So insightful!

  2. have a great time at your YTT event. it sounds as if you are already in the right mind.


  3. Thoughtful post as always, Jamie. Have a wonderful weekend!! Namaste.

  4. You are SO right Jamie! I LOVE this post, and it made me take a step back to examine my own teaching. Thank you!

  5. Lovely post. Have fun at your training!

  6. nope, you can’t. good call, lady. well said.

  7. Enjoy your training! I guess when you speak of Yoga you are speaking of the 8 limbs, the whole shebang right? Because when people talk Asana, part of that is a skill, and you can teach that right? But you can’t teach how to listen to your body once you can approximate the asana, how to learn what your own body needs for adjustments to make it fit, etc. right?

    Very interesting thoughts!

  8. So true! In some ways it’s almost more like mentoring or just walking along with people through life, supporting them. Great post!

  9. Beautiful post! So great to keep in mind as I finish my intensive.
    Hope your YTT weekend was great!

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