Updated: 4 days ago
To be very honest, in march I was about to throw in the towel, that was it, I was not going to teach any more yoga classes here and there. Then suddenly a pandemic happened! I wanted to give up all my yoga classes everywhere and only focus on my yoga teacher training. I found a job with a major tourism operator but due to Corona that got postponed.
In the last few years, I was so disappointed by some yoga teacher "friends" and surprised by their unwillingness to face challenges (good friendships face challenges together and this is skill set but nowadays instant gratification generations are not willing to develop this skillset) and avoidance of communication, that I thought "that's it" - life is too short to be bothered by this any longer and maybe I should just do my own thang too. Nah, that's not me.
Yoga teaching can exhaust, especially if this is the major income you have and you are not blessed with a privileged status in society, that is, maybe a family that supports you in your passion or/and partner that is the main breadwinner.
I am not saying it is impossible, but to be realistic it is even more challenging if you live in an area where you hardly know anybody. So, here I had a new full-time job, a teacher training to start in April where I wanted to employ various yoga teachers and bang! Lockdown, confusion and the slightly confusing question "what's next".
For many, who work as yoga teachers, questions such how to achieve better job security have been on the agenda for a long time, but like everything else, time passes quicker than we can digest the changes around us. What could teaching look like in a post-COVID era?
courtesy my beautiful niece
So what is the future of Yoga teaching? – what next? Future of Yoga – “There is no doubt in me that Yoga changes according to socio-economic influences around us. The meaning or goal of Yoga has changed throughout history, and we as yogis now can influence the path it will take in the future. You just must decide what is your part.” Right now, Yoga serves many to overcome loneliness, anxiety and strengthen the immunity system. We are maybe a bit freaked out by the pandemic and Yoga comes in as a useful tool to ground ourselves and keep focussed. In recent times, Yoga has become a synonym for psychology, science, health and wellbeing and mentoring people to choose the right way of living. Psychologist, doctors, therapists incorporate the pearls of yoga wisdom into their work. So, what is the future of yoga? In my teacher training in the first two months, you hear me speaking about the history of Yoga and the different traditions that existed. I explain the different methods used to achieve Yoga as a goal according to different traditions and cultures (Brahmanic, Tantric Shaivism, Tantric Buddhist, etc.). We also discuss the evolution of Yoga and how it can be part of taking it forward to make it an all-inclusive honest and a real asset for people. Regarding postural Yoga, we see the necessity to adapt classical postures to a modern yoga body, that is, humans nowadays are different from humans only at the beginning of our century! We walk less, we sit more and therefore, have lost specific natural movement patterns. Our hip flexors are stiffer (from sitting), and we need to stabilise and strengthen our hips. Through an active yoga practise, we can strengthen the core muscles again which also often through our modern patterns have become weak. "Thanks for your teachings. My core is getting much stronger I can do a little bit more each week. My arms were so weak too, even @the start of the classes, I could barely do cobra, but I can now. I don't know how people get by not doing Yoga." Yoga Student 2020 in lockdown Yoga is in constant flux, but she is so right about yoga seems to be such an amazing tool and I myself could neither do without it. However, if we have a look at Instagram or the kind of pictures often posted by yoga enthusiasts around the world, it shows many complicated contortionist postures that many people or modern bodies will not be able to do and to be honest in the case of me I could not care less. For me, the connection with a real person is the highest benefit.
The connection to your own integrity within yourself and shining your light regardless of the people around you wishing to dampen that light. Not all of us were growing up with the right dose of parenting and it’s not the fault of the parents but a society that puts less emphasis on education, caring and support and encourages competition, individualistic advancement and lesser resources for all. We abandon friendships without talking, we throw old items into the bin without moving an eyebrow. We have the newest gadgets and with a click, we can film, podcast or appear in front of people. As quick we appear in front of people, we can disappear. This is all so shallow and instant gratification avoids the deeper formation of friendships etc. Modern Yoga seems to be online now, and yogis from all over the world are trying to copy shapes and with shapes also attitudes. Still, the real evolution we need (as in politics) is cooperation and coming together. Only together can we save our planet. Only together can we make our planet a better place for everybody!
In my opinion, it is ok that we have different teachers catering to different bodies. Still, we need teachers providing for those modern bodies so that those do not injure themselves if they force themselves into shapes that are not meant for their body. That is if we want Yoga to be inclusive if we wish to Yoga to be healing if we want Yoga to make people feel good in the long term. By going online with my classes, I feel I have managed to boost mental and physical wellbeing of people. All this without needing to leave their homes, that is, in the own comfort of their home. Something that feels good and I have decided to continue in the future. So, you will see me online for more years to come. I do look forward to meeting you in person again, but in the meantime, join me on one of my lifestreaming online yoga classes. Send me an email and I will send you the timetable and ID. Thanks to those who have already joined me on one of my lifestreaming classes. Let's practice together!
Want to learn more? Sign up for my next online lifestreaming yoga teacher training. You can also organise a class with your family with me. With love, Claudia www.sundaraygaflow.com