I have had a lot of advice over the years from some very wise instructors. Throughout my career I have referred back to this advice over and over again when faced with challenges in my teaching career and in my life.
Here are just a few… in no particular order 😉
- Do all that you can and then surrender– When I am beating my head against a wall, trying to figure it all out and come up with the answer, this piece of advice really helps. To eat dairy or not eat dairy? Did I guide that student to the right practice for them? Why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? I don’t have all of the answers and I never will. However, I can do the best I can with the knowledge I have and then surrender to the magic that is life. I trust that all will be well.
- You can help a blind man by giving him a stick or you can help him to see– As an instructor, I am always trying to help students down their path, in anyway I can. I can guide them but the student must do the work. I don’t want to give them a crutch by telling them what to do and how to do it. Besides, I have no idea! Only the student knows what is right for them. My job, as an instructor is to encourage them to find the answer, to be able to see, on their own. So when a student comes to me with a life problem, I’ll tell them to sit and meditate, get on your mat and practice, or get out into nature. I encourage them to be quiet enough to be able to see on your own.
- Just breath– Breathing helps everything. It calms the mind and body, gets the Prana (energy) flowing, and transports us into the present moment.
- Just sit– When feeling challenged and you don’t want to meditate. Do it anyway. Just sit your butt down! Even if your mind runs wild the entire time, that’s okay. The practice of sitting will help in the long run. And who knows, you might just connect and feel better afterwards. Stop thinking about it and dilly-dallying, just go sit!
- Stay committed and dedicated to see results– The Yoga Sutras tell us that all is possible with dedicated and consistent practice. When I was younger I wanted to explore everything, experience everything. That is a wonderful way to find your path. However, eventually, if you want to see progress you need to commit to one path. As my teacher said, “You are going to take a few steps down many different paths but you aren’t getting anywhere. To arrive somewhere you must stay on one path.”
Lastly, I’ve included a piece of advice of my own.
Find a way to connect to your inner light and the inner light of others- There are many ways to connect and really ‘feel’ your inner light (spirit or soul). Find the way that works best for you. It takes a little time and practice but once you can it will help you in so many situations. For me, I can look at a tree or visualize the white light at my heart centre and I am connected to that universal energy. Maybe for you it is a song or a memory. When we are connected we are instantly at peace and we realize that we all have the same inner light. We are all the same. This will help in so many challenging moments and allow you to breath a little deeper.