“Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives.“
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
Yoga is a tradition that dates back thousands of years. It is full of richness, depth, and more information than any one person can possibly retain over the course of a lifetime. There are subtleties to the practice that even an extremely experienced practitioner can easily miss and there are hidden lessons within yogic texts that are still in the process of being uncovered by expert commentators. For all of these reasons, anyone looking to explore the path of teaching yoga may feel overwhelmed.
The beautiful thing about this practice, however, is that it is not necessary to know everything in order to teach. Instead of becoming discouraged by the fact that we may never know everything there is to know about yoga, we can rejoice in the fact that we can spend our lives diving deeply into one or two areas of study and still have more to learn. Scholars have spent lifetimes studying one yogic text, even one portion of one text, and have never run out of content to explore. So when we sign up for a teacher training that lasts a few months or even as little as one weekend, it only stands to reason that we will only be uncovering the very tip of a huge iceberg. It is then up to us to continue uncovering the teachings little by little with
continuing studies and, along the way, sharing the little we know with others.
In Yoga Nanda’s “The Path to Self-Realization” 200-Hour Teacher Training Program, we focus on the importance of cultivating awareness of one’s inner self as well as the yoga scriptures. Our trainees often conclude their weekends with a module called “Teach What You Know” where they are asked to share the small bits of yoga they have been practicing thus far in the training. By the end of the training, these small pieces of “what you know” turn into bigger pieces and as our own practice continues to flourish over the course of our lives, the amount of information we know well enough to teach to others continues to grow. It is a great responsibility and privilege to pass on these teachings as they become embedded in our own lives. The most valuable thing any of us can do is continue learning, practicing, studying and teaching what we know to others so that they too may teach what they know. This is how tradition carries on… through each and every one of us; each and every one of you!