We finished our second last weekend in my Shiva Yoga 200hr Teacher Training Program last night. I can't believe there's just one more weekend left. I'm so proud of all of the trainees. What a special group. Their level of understanding of yoga practice and yoga philosophy is getting pretty incredible and it's been so inspiring to watch them each grow so much this past year.
This weekend we delved deeper into Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the Meditation Section of the manual. One of the things that I have loved about leading this training and that I love about teaching in general is that I am learning new things all the time along with my students.
The process of teaching is such a profound teacher in itself. My trainees have been doing exercises throughout the training where they are practice teaching, practicing their dharma talks on each other, giving presentations on philosophy, doing mock debates with each other,...etc...etc. This process of having to teach each other this material is such a huge teacher for them.
Having to teach something really forces us to understand it on a very deep level. By attempting to explain something to someone else and teach someone something, we learn what we know and we also learn, very quickly, what we don't know. It's magnified to us immediately by our ability, or lack of ability, to explain ourselves.
You really have to master something in order to be able to share it with someone else. If you don't understand what you're talking about then your students aren't going to understand it either. If you've really done the work and contemplated the knowledge you have learned, though, then you will be able to communicate that knowledge clearly to others and they will understand it on a deeper level too. There's something really amazing about this process of teaching and sharing. It helps us all grow!
I feel like a lot of things started to fall into place this weekend and things came together for the trainees. The Yoga Sutras are very clear and easy to understand. They're not nearly as complicated as I think some people think. When you make sense of this text it helps you understand yoga in such a different way too.
My teacher Dharma Mittra says, 'yoga practice without an understanding of the philosophy behind the practice is like pasta without the sauce.'
Happy Monday, Yogis! Congratulations on another great weekend of training to the Hanuman Yoga trainees! Just one more to go!