When I first started Iyengar yoga classes and contemplated teacher training, it was expressed to me that I needed to find a teacher within the method and stay only with this teacher, with the exception of workshops run by other senior Iyengar yoga teachers. This didn’t make sense to me. I had always attended classes all over the place and I had a few teachers for lengthy periods of 6-to-12 months but certainly not for years … my thoughts were that the more teachers you have the more information you could gain and the more interesting and fun it would be.
Not long after I started teacher training I began to understand the one teacher theory. After a couple of months with the same teacher she began to unpack and read my body and its patterns of strengths and weaknesses. My teacher quickly identified my scoliosis and a whole different way of working was opened up to me. From her observations, adjustments and corrections my practice of yoga was transformed and I seemed to improve at a much greater rate than when I was going from teacher to teacher.
After two years I still felt that there was so much more to learn from her as if I was just scratching the surface of her knowledge. In this time I was never bored or wondering what the Flow class down the road was like … she had me completely dedicated. As my yoga practice transformed physically there came more subtle changes like being less anxious and feeling more confident in myself. Another thing I gained was a yoga community. I would see the same people a couple of times a week in class. Sometimes we’d have coffee or lunch after class and chat about the class or other things going on in our lives. These people became my friends; they were positive and fulfilling friendships and it was our ongoing commitment to yoga and our teacher that we had in common.
Sometimes I felt like the classes were too hard and I didn’t feel like going but then as if she read my mind it would be a relaxation or restorative class. And that’s a little what it feels like after a few years with the same teacher, as if they have designed the class especially for you and what is going on in your life. There is an element of trust that a yoga student needs to have for their teacher, especially when you feel like you are not engaged or progressing at the rate you would like. Trust that your teacher is consciously guiding you. Ultimately a good teacher will also help you to cultivate your own yoga practice too so you can become your own teacher of your own practice.
Sometimes people want to find another teacher when they don’t feel safe in someone’s class or don’t like the style. Yoga is also a saturated market and everywhere you turn a different style of yoga is being offered and sometimes we pick the yoga that is cheap or closest to our house, or perhaps it’s a part of our gym membership so there’s no need to find another class. But from my experience it is worth finding a teacher who inspires you to want to stick with them on the yoga journey. And perhaps that does mean class jumping a bit to find the right one but I think it is not always easy to tell everything a teacher has to offer by only attending one class. Being recommended teachers by friends is always good but still, it is a very personal choice. SO, I encourage you to go forth into the yoga world and find your teacher.
written by Jamey