YES! We all need teachers in life both formal and informal, and our relationships are the ultimate teachers, our family of origin, partners, lovers, children, each of them have the capacity to teach us about parts of ourselves that we never knew existed. To expand our vibration, and to provide the experience of contrast to feel our truest desires.
I was trained throughout my yoga apprenticeship in a very formal structured method of teaching that demanded of my regularity, consistency, and true commitment to the practice, and to my teacher. This will forever be reflected in my teaching and my practice. It was expected within apprenticeship to practice daily at least 5/6 times a week, every morning show up, be there for my practice and the shala. I set up the teaching space for my teacher, lit the candles, set up the studio as a gesture of respect and devotion to the teachings he passed on to me. It was a very traditional model, and throughout my apprenticeship (that came to a natural softening when I became pregnant and our journey and soul contract was complete). I maintain the deepest of gratitude for all that relationship taught me, the ways of teaching that aligned with me, and those that don’t, all of it valuable. I also learned the importance of a student teacher relationship, one that I feel has throughout the course of the modern yoga and spiritual teachings has become diluted. With so many teachers/studios/methods and offerings, it’s a like a smorgasboard for the spiritual shopper, so many classes, studios and teachers to spread your energy across.
Depth of practice and growth requires commitment and discipline, and what you learn in this space can be a mirror for the discipline to take you through the challenges of life. Show up to life, to practice and sit with whatever rises up, to know how to hold a safe container for yourself, and to seek the answers stored within, for some of us those answers are innate, for others it requires the loving guidance of a mentor to guide you into self actualisation.
My evolution as a teacher has very much been a result of reflection and self awareness to go where my energy takes me, and to what I am called to teach. I have the deepest respect and reverence for the practice of Ashtanga yoga, but for me the focus has shifted into a framework outside the doctrine of “yoga”. It is the essence of soul. Yoga is an entry point the broader teachings and insights I have reached and what I am here in this lifetime to share. I am really now focussing my teaching and the focus of my work beyond the physical aspects of yoga into the broader 8 limbs, and deeper and deeper inward, and a true connection to the divine. To trust and feel the divine in me and in all.
There is a dance between the need to a teacher and to also "hold your own". I have danced this one so often, and have found myself in conflict with the idea that if I am truly my own best teacher, then why do I need a mentor? I have given myself a hard time for reaching out to teachers and mentors when I knew on a deep level that I had all the answers I needed. BUT, my recent experiences, insights and research have led me to the understanding that we ALL need mentors and teachers to help guide us into the aspects and spaces of self that are unawakened. We simply cannot see all aspects of ourselves, which is why we have the range of relationships in our life that we call in, to find aspects of ourselves and to ultimately connect us back into the awareness of wholeness.
We have become disconnected from the wisdom of tribal ritualised cultures, and the concept of elders and leaders. Modern culture now requires the seeker to search for their true teachers and mentors. Mentorship is a powerful tool for personal transformation and self realisation, and when you have found the right teacher/mentor for you, you will FEEL it. This person can show me aspect of myself. A true teacher will never tell you what your SHOULD do, or require you to give of them your power. If you are in a teacher/student relationship of this nature, I would encourage you to look at the dynamic of your relationship. Remember dynamics of power interplay is not only through spoken word.
We also have many teachers in our lives for the right time and aspects of self to be uncovered. You may have outgrown your teacher, but feel a sense of duty/loyalty to them. Once more you will FEEL when this is the case. You will once again seek, and be called to a mentor at a level that suits your current needs and vibration. It’s ever evolving. However, if the desire to find a new teacher is founded on your current teacher showing you an aspect of yourself you don’t wish to see, well…. I’ll leave that there.
Never, however, expect your teacher to own or solve your shit for you, they can show you your shit, but they cannot hold it and change it, only you can do that. A new and really powerful expression I have come to understand particularly in the running of my women’s spaces is “irresponsible compassion”, When as a healer or a teacher you feel the need to transmute others pain, then really you are being of dispassionate service, because you will never allow your students to carry their own load, and to transmute the energy through collective sangha and self responsibility. If all you hear from your teacher or mentor is compassion, they may not have adequate skills to challenge and call you on your stuff. Sometimes a harsh teacher can be misunderstood as lacking empathy, actually no, there is total merit in tough love when it comes from pure intentions to see a student grow and see past their stories. Is your teacher challenging you, or allowing you to stay in the space of victimhood and lack? Does your teacher really see YOU? You will feel it when they do.
I have many deeply respected mentors, coaches, teachers in my life. I’ve been fortunate to have been guided and shown aspects of myself by some amazingly talented individuals. I have the deepest gratitude for each of them. I recently heard about an equation that says, that if we were to divide our time into the sacred number of 3. One third should be spent with those who we can teach or guide through our own experience. One third with our friends or those in a similar vibration. The final third by those who we can learn from. The sacred cycle of growth and expansion, sharing of wisdom continues on and on.
I feel a natural evolution in my journey as a teacher of almost 10 years now, into the role of mentor to students or new teachers who are seeking guidance on a deeper level than that which can be offered in a casual weekly yoga class. I am no longer teaching as many weekly classes, as in the culture of modern yoga the vessel feels diluted and the teachings spread into an expanse of ‘voices”. Listening into the instincts of my soul, my calling is to work deeply with with those truly committed to their spiritual and personal growth, to those who are willing to take 100% responsibility for their spiritual growth and evolution. This mentorship extends beyond the realms of yoga practice, it is in all areas of life, purpose, healing and expansion into the soul’s higher calling. This is space for you to be held, to go deep and to clear self limiting programming and conditioning. This work can either take place online, or in person, and it’s open to anyone with a genuine desire to be witnessed and lovingly called on their shit. You don’t even have to have done yoga before, as this journey is not bound by a doctrine as such.
If you are seeking a mentor or a teacher, and these words and that which I teach resonates for you, please consider contacting me if you are seeking a safe container to explore your own spiritual practice, or your journey as a teacher yourself. I have traversed this ground and continue to divine grow and expand.
With love and respect,