Recently I see a lot of posts and I hear a lot of teachers (“older” teachers) complaining about the young teachers, complaining about the number of them, complaining about their way of communicating, complaining about the way they transmit what they’ve been taught, about the fact that they organise teacher trainings among other things…
And to be perfectly honest, at times I get frustrated as well and I get envious, and I mumble away, because they amaze me, and they know the drill way better than I do in terms of social media and communication, and most of them earn more money after two years of teaching than I do after almost twenty!
However I don’t think pouring anger, frustration, bitterness or even hatred about that all over social media helps the sharing of yoga and the yoga community at all.
I think it’s a good thing that there are more yoga teachers around, I think it’s a good thing that young yoga teachers want to train other teachers, and yes, some people will get hurt, but you know what? Some people get hurt with older teachers as well, some people will not get the “proper” information about yoga, but then what is the “proper” information anyway?
The more I learn about the origins of yoga and the more I wonder about them...
We all have to start somewhere, I remember my yoga teacher all these years ago telling me that I should start teaching, although I had only been practising with him for a couple of years. Although I had ten years of physio and personal training behind me, I felt scared and not legitimate, and what really pushed me to start teaching was him telling me that, basically if I had students lined up and they were eager to learn, then I should definitely go ahead and share yoga. He also told me to “practice what I preach”, which meant practicing every day and getting back to him if I had questions. I’ve been doing this for over twelve years and he’s always been there for me, as I will always be for the people who come to me.
Yoga is for everyone and there are as many different perceptions of yoga as there are people sharing the yoga. So maybe it’s not exactly the yoga you were taught, or the yoga that was originally called yoga, but it’s all yoga... If there is true presence, if there is breathing, if there is unconditional love, if there is patience, if there is an eagerness to share something bigger than ourselves, then it is yoga, isn’t it?
These people are bringing their unique life experiences in the yoga equation, how cool is that? Some of them have paths that you could never imagine, paths that you could not walk, some of them are actually older than us and I’m amazed at the courage and the amount of energy that it requires to start a training later on in life.
And you know what? If you are an older and more experienced teacher and are giving classes, workshops, retreats or teacher trainings, if you’re really good at what you do and truly believe in your practice, then there’s a fair probability that these people who go to other people‘s teacher trainings will eventually come to yours.
Maybe they feel scared by your experience or your age and maybe by spending some time on the mat with a younger teacher, they will find the courage to come and train with you someday.
So instead of feeling sad, or angry, or anxious, or jealous (or a combination of all these), how about feeling grateful for inspiring so many people to do the same thing that you do... how awesome is that? I know I am!