I love teaching.  In fact, I felt called to a be a teacher as a young girl at church camp.  There is this passion or flame in my soul to share knowledge, wisdom, and instruction with others, and I believe it is my dharma, God's path for my life.  As an elementary teacher, principal, or adjunct professor, I sensed it and lived it.  On the yoga mat, I feel as if I have come home to my place of harmony and peace as I begin a class.  No matter how many classes each week I teach, I study, I prepare, I memorize in my head how to present it with just the right frame for the students to receive.  It is my gift that comes from my soul and spirit, but it is acted out through my body.

Our teacher yesterday gave us her interpretation of teaching.  It resonated with my soul.  She called it the Seven Stages of Yoga Instruction.
  • Upadesha
  • Preparation of the instruction
  • Introduction to the class of the theme for the practice
  • Diksa
  • Initiation on the yoga mat, like the settling in for receiving
  • Meditation, breath practice, setting the intention for the class
  • Sadhana
  • The actual practice - moving with a meditative focus
  • Teacher assisting the students as she or he guides them through the movement phase 
  • Abhiseka
  • The purifying work of the chakras, vayus (apana, prana, samana, udana), and postures
  • Building heat through strength work and flexibility through lengthening the fascia lines
  • Seva
  • The offering of what the teacher is giving from their words, their actions, and their soul
  • It is the teacher's gift from study, preparation, and practicing on their own 
  • Purna Abhiseka
  • The celebration of the students receiving the teacher's gift of instruction
  • There is a catching of the theme of the class, the focus, the movement; some people never get it, and others take a while before they see it
Finally, the last stage of a yoga class is Mukti, which means "freedom."  It is the freedom that is like an afterglow of the yoga practice. Jason Crandall says, "Look at their faces after Savasana (Final Relaxation) to see if there was a change."

 May you receive my gift.
May you be happy and have the causes of happiness.
May you be healthy, body, mind, and spirit.
May you be safe, free from harm.
May you be at peace, rested, refreshed, and renewed.
Namaste'


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