We all need to find some inspiration once in a while and that also applies to the people that instruct, coach, and guide other people. It doesn’t matter if you are a life coach, yoga instructor, naturopath, or in a position of leadership. The simple fact is that we all need some tips on how to stay positive and laugh at any misfortune we may experience. As the saying goes – when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Here are some tips from http://oxygentraining.ca The suggestions are from a yoga instructor’s perspective but can really apply to anyone.
- Take cues from your daily life– When I am looking for a theme or topic to present in class, I often look at what lessons or gifts I am addressing in my own life. For example, if I am feeling annoyed by a fellow co-worker and all of the things that I think they should or shouldn’t do, then I can use that. I can talk about non-attachment in my class and how we can’t change anyone or anything outside of ourselves. The only thing that we have control over is ourselves and our reaction to life. I could also talk about how our perception can change everything. If I continue to see this person as annoying then they will continue to be annoying or I could change my perspective by being grateful of them and the lessons they teach me. All of these philosophies can be applied on the very basic level to our physical asana (posture) yoga practice. They can also be applied to our everyday lives.
- Read something inspirational- Read books, poems, quotes, song lyrics… really anything that is inspirational and lifts you up. You can draw inspiration from these sources or even share the words with your class. Then they can contemplate the passage and use it in their own way, for their own inspiration during the class.
- Use your students to ground you- Let’s face it, sometimes you’ve had a rough day and you really don’t feel like teaching. On these days I remember my students. I remember that my goal as an instructor is to lift them up and support them, to the best of my ability. I want to be of service to my students and the community as a whole. This always grounds me and reminds me how lucky I truly am to be a yoga instructor. Just this simple thought and a few minutes of silence always helps to get me in the zone. Also, talking to your students before class can help to bring you into the present moment and reconnect with your community, and thus with yourself.
- Share something personal with your class- If you feel comfortable sharing a personal story or thought with your class, this can be a great way to feel connected and present within your teaching. Not only with you feel great sharing but chances are a student or two will probably be really touched by your honesty. Many times they will come up to you after class to tell you how much they relate with the story or how it helped them see things in a new way. Getting this feedback from your students is always inspirational. However, be sure that you are sharing from an authentic place and not from the ego. Just offer the thought without expectation of how they will perceive it or without expecting anything in return. It is the vulnerable and authentic spirit that makes this one work J
- Keep a list of topics/philosophies/stories that really inspire you- I have a list on my computer of different topics. I also have a book when I write down inspirational stories and quotes. When I’m lacking in ideas I just look at the list and book and before you know it I’m brimming with excitement and motivation.
- Mix things up!- Feeling bored of teaching the same thing… try something new. Teach a new pose or a new variation that you’ve never tried. Or change your music. Speed up the class or slow it way down. Your students will also appreciate the energy and vitality that this brings to your teaching. And who knows, you might find a new style or flow that you really enjoy!
- Get into class- My all time favourite way to re-awaken the passion and joy for teaching, go take a class with a new instructor or at a studio that you have never been to. Sometimes we get in a rut and never leave our bubble. It is always refreshing to try something new and open our minds to new possibilities. Even if the class isn’t in your lineage or style it can still inspire your teaching and your life!
It always good to read stuff like this because it re – invigorates us and inspires us to keep going. I like to find something like this to read at least once a week – usually on a Friday afternoon when I am winding down for the weekend.