The Yoga of Teaching

Posted in Philosophy on February 6, 2011 by yogawithmark

The first time I attended a Hot Yoga studio, I felt like I was a commercially sealed object in a box heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Students placed their mats in straight lines often side by side, leaving just enough elbow room for limited movement. Classes ranged from forty to sixty students and the teachers didn’t always have opportunity to attend to everyone. Despite the overzealous keener that I was, there were times when I felt like a dizzy and struggling animal trying to catch up to everyone else as I stumbled over my jagged breath.

In a booming town like Fort St. John, where Hot Yoga is still a novel concept, I know that practicing in such an environment might be a foreign experience for most. So as a new teacher and practitioner, this can sometimes pose as a major challenge. On the other hand, it works to my advantage as well, for I have the freedom to explore and create a new, perhaps even a holistic approach to Hot Yoga.

Of course, it would surely be nice to claim that I am a good instructor and always make the practice of the students my utmost priority.  In all honesty however, this is not always true. There are still times when I lose my self in my practice that I neglect to acknowledge the struggling beginner who is probably feeling very overwhelmed and exhausted by the rigorous flow of sequences offered in some of my classes.

Thankfully, I’m learning more as I go especially under the ongoing tutelage and profound guidance of my teachers and through the insight I receive from the students in my classes. For this, I am truly grateful. Through them, I am learning that every “body” is different. How I experience my Yoga will be unique to everyone else and that it is empathy and compassion that makes a good class; not just how I teach it.

To conclude, teaching Yoga and practicing Yoga are completely different dimensions but are both sides of the same coin. It is not something that can easily be mirrored or replicated. At best, it might be safe for me to say that it can only essentially be experienced.



The Yoga of Writing

Posted in Philosophy on January 22, 2011 by yogawithmark

Journal entries are something I enjoy doing but I never imagined my self displaying my thoughts in public. There were two things that were keeping me from writing publicly; my innate fear of criticism and  my incessant need of perfection. Then I finally learned to accept that people will criticize me regardless of how well or badly I do something and that perfection, if there is even such a thing, is relative. Hence the birth of this novel entry.

The title reads “the Yoga of Writing” not just as a genre specific, cliche alternative for “the Art of” or “the Science of” but as a title that speaks for itself. It goes beyond the connotation that Yoga is a physical practice of the body. In actuality the word Yoga literally translates as “to yoke”. To yoke can also mean to unite or to unite ones self to something higher or that which, transcends the ego. Writing consciously without hesitation allows me to have a little glimpse of liberation. I feel the words pour out of my mouth and through my fingertips as sacred words of inspiration. All that I write in this blog will be the reflection of my daily practice and life as a Yogi both on and off the mat, right here in Fort St. John B.C.

For those of you who decide to check this blog out, I just want to thank you in advance for sharing your interest. Please feel free to write comments however, comments that include profanity and inappropriate language will be deleted.  So, with all due respect, please always be respectful.