Ashanga yoga has an interesting reputation. Those outside of the practice, or those who aren’t suited for it, often demean it.
“It’s only for 12 year old boys”
“It’s just hard for the sake of hard”
“Ashtanga is only about the gross body, what I teach is more subtle, more powerful”
“That’s yoga Type-A people”
I’ve heard so much rage, so much judgement from people, from yogis, over the years. The one thing I understand is that Ashtanga is one of the few branches that demands discipline. You’re expected to be on your mat 6 days a week with a few exceptions. You are on time.
While assisting a Mysore practice with Clayton years ago, we had to arrive at 4:30am to practice before the doors opened to students at 6am. If you showed up at 4:31am, you found the door locked and you didn’t assist that day.
“Follow your passion” is the worst advice for any person starting a new career.
I know. “But, I love yoga and I want to share my passion with everyone!”
I know. I understand.
That spark that ignites the passion is critical. Passion gets you to your first step. There has to be more. Much more. Discipline is key to reaching your goals and dreams without burnout. Passion gets you to the door, discipline opens it!
How do you find discipline in your teaching career? Here are a few ideas.
- Take notes…create a practice diary. We teach what we practice. Do you still practice? What does that look like? Do you make excuses to avoid the mat?
- R&D…research new themes for your class and develop sequences that support the theme. Real research isn’t just searching the net for what someone else is doing. Make it unique, from your heart.
- Take another one…teacher trainings are time consuming and increasingly expensive but a training or a teacher intensive can be the catalyst to get your passion back on the right track and create good work habits.
- Clean up after yourself…What? Seriously. When you exit the studio, leave it better than you found it. Be an example of selfless effort. When a teacher leaves their props behind for ‘someone else to use’, so do the students. It makes a mess that the next group has to clean up.
Check out this passionate article about the value of disciple from Christian motivational speaker, Scott Cochrane: