by Emilia Arenas
In the Ashtanga Yoga system there are teachers that focus more on alignment, the breath, the vinyasa and other also try to stick with the sequence just as it is. But regardless of the focus, the heart of the teacher is always focused on helping their students and using the tools they think are best for them. However paying more attention to the breath or the alignment, or being more strict with the sequence doesn’t make the teacher better, it just makes it a teacher who focus more on one particular aspect of the practice. I love the variety in teaching styles because there are students looking for different things and the more kinds of teachers we can find the more people we will get to practice yoga. People will always go to the teacher that resonates better with them and the ones who give them what they need or what they want.
What makes a better teacher though, is the quality of the seed they are planting in the heart of their students. Once that seed is planted the teacher will keep it growing and will water it when the seed is not growing in a way that the student is being a happier person, or kinder, or stronger, or more relaxed and letting go of the habits that were causing harm in their lives. The good teacher not only gives mindful adjustments but will touch their students in a way that opens doors of new possibilities to unknown strengths in their bodies and minds. Not even the amount of students makes a teacher better than the other one. Instead, it is the love and the devotion flowing in the room that students so profoundly feel when they are practicing with their teacher. That devotion will move the students to be better human beings and to want to share this love with more people who need yoga to make their life more purposeful. It is of so much importance to keep the teacher’s ego under control and not let their ego to go beyond their teachings. The best way to ensure that is to have a teacher who is also a student.
When the teacher is teaching from their heart and only wants the best for their students it doesn’t really matter what tools are used. It is the connection and respect for each other that will become the best tool to unlock hidden emotions. Then, both teacher and student will have the very unique chance to see who we really are through the sacred teacher-student relationship. That is why the good teacher is the one who is really a student at heart and lives the path they are sharing with others.