“One of the most valuable outcomes from the course has been the affirmation of inquiry-based yoga practice and teaching.”
~ KeiShana Coursey, New Zealand // live participant
These last few months have been a whirlwind with the completion of filming the live Art of Teaching sessions here in Christchurch, New Zealand, beginning the first international online training group, and simultaneously writing the 200-plus page manual. It’s ironic to think that this project may never have been instigated had it not been for a worldwide pandemic. We give thanks every day for the small mercies that come our way.
One of the outcomes of the Art of Teaching project for me has been the recognition of how alone and isolated yoga teachers feel. Many of the participants in the online training have expressed how the sessions have provoked deep emotions for them: finally, they are receiving affirmation of their orientation in their teaching, the values they hold, as well as much needed support and guidance.
When you are surrounded by a yoga industry hell-bent on commodifying the practice and co-opting teachers to be poorly paid emissaries for calisthenic work-outs delivered in 45-minute sessions, it’s easy to believe that if you hold a different value; that you’re out on your own. But as I am discovering, this is very much not the case.
There is an international groundswell of teachers both young and old, new and experienced, who want to maintain the spirit of the tradition while incorporating the best of Western science, somatics and sound biomechanics, and the growing experiential base of knowledge within the community itself.
I remember how genuinely terrified I felt as a young teacher when I made the decision to leave a method and an organization that I could no longer ethically represent. At that time, leaving was treated as an act of betrayal and one was promptly treated as a pariah: cast outside the village gates.
For a long time, I too felt terribly alone.
What I’ve learned since then is that we have the individual and collective power to draft a new pedagogic model that honors the agency of the individual and encourages inquiry, adaptation and evolution.
I feel excited by the depth of knowledge and experience that our international Art of Teaching group is bringing to the table and what that means for the future of yoga.
We’ll be starting the next cohort engaging in this shared journey on September 15th.
Join the list to be notified by clicking the Learn more link below.
“I feel a deeper confidence in allowing myself and my students to explore.”
~ Kristina Wischnowsky, New Zealand // live participant