When I told my cousin Mary Ellen this summer about my yoga studio plans, she immediately said, “The best yoga teachers are classroom teachers.” It made me consider the numerous inspirational mentors I have had over the years who also happen to be trained classroom teachers:
Jenny, Robyn and Kelly are just a few of my yoga mentors and teachers who all have a teaching background. I also remember fondly the infectious joy from teaching children’s yoga so palpable with Kylie, a teacher I worked with in Mexico who ended up being my teacher in Lisbon at one point. Now, as I embark on the long-awaited opening of Mimi’s Yoga, Jenny, a former international school teaching colleague, joins me, bringing with her skills and knowledge from a long career in schools across the world.
Teachers, as we all know, wear numerous hats and teaching is much more than delivery of the day’s lesson. We differentiate to meet varying student needs. We track student progress and vary tasks to meet the students where they are. We reinforce with students what they already know and challenge them to reach new heights. These are the kinds of skills as classroom teachers we bring to Mimi’s Yoga. We are keen observers and we are invested in our student’s development. We know how to motivate and how to make adjustments, where necessary. We know about the value of specific, targeted reinforcement as key to progression – and we also know when to take a step back for you to consolidate, refine and tweak your own understanding and learning.
Teaching encourages introspection and reflection. So every now and then I take a VIA Character Strengths Survey (try it!) to see where I am and to think about where I am headed. My number one trait among the 24 values on this particular test consistently comes up as a love of learning. That sounds about right! In fact, I have put my student hat on over the past several months to delve deep into learning to prepare for work in the studio, most recently with a Restorative Yoga course in the UK. My expert teacher, Adelene Cheong, frequently compared restorative yoga to food. She spoke with eloquence about the beauty of “delicious rest”. I’m so excited to share some “rest recipes” with you in the coming months from this (yes, delicious) nourishing practice.
The best teachers are often praised for their passion for their subject, a thirst for knowledge and for passing on that enthusiasm to their students. That’s where teaching meets the yoga mat: As we open the doors of the studio, Jenny and I will no doubt put our classroom teaching hats on again to bring valuable classroom skills and experience honed over the years to our shared yoga classroom. We know you certainly don’t have to be a classroom teacher to be a yoga teacher, but we think it helps. We know the best classroom teachers make every student seen and heard and we know, from being on the other side of the mat as yoga students, we also like being seen and heard in class. We want to offer that connection, community and sense of belonging that fosters personal growth. In the final analysis, at Mimi’s Yoga, we are passionate about yoga, your wellness journey and we are invested in providing you with a nurturing yoga experience. It’s all part of continuous education (yours and ours) about the myriad of benefits of yoga and mindful, abundant living.
Until next time,