Personal Sādhana and Professional Teaching
Chatting recently with a student about starting their first group class applying the principles of the viniyoga of Yoga. They were saying how the practice arts they had learnt so far had only been applied in the context of their personal Sādhana. As such what had been experienced felt very precious and they felt as if they didn’t want to share it with others yet.
They were reassured when I said I not only understood and agreed, but felt that too many want to ‘share’ what they have learnt far too quickly.
I remember once teaching something that was personally unique and specific to a student, who was also a teacher. Some 10 days later I happened to be taking a day seminar in their area and a student came up and starting talking to me about their teacher because they knew they were my student and about something new they had learnt from them in their group class only the previous week, you can guess what that was.
For me what I received from my teacher were like small cuttings from a special plant. They need to be carefully rooted and tended for through the food of practice and the water of consistency. Only once they become strong and rooted in their own nature can we start to consider offering cuttings to others.
I feel too often the teacher passes on to others what they have learnt too quickly without offering sufficient time for what they have learnt to truly become rooted within their personal Sādhana. Offering cuttings from a cutting before its time will inevitably weaken it to the point where we lose the context and especially purport of that which was offered without what it can teach us being learnt.
Furthermore different cuttings have different rooting and growing speeds. Some like the infamous Leylandi tree grow two feet a year in contrast to the one inch a year of the Cedar tree. Helpful to consider for ourselves, as well as in terms of discerning for others when, as well as how we pass on what we learnt for and from rooting it within our personal practice.
Even worse is how Yoga stuff is taught to others without even reaching the personal mat. From seminar to class as part of the pressure for Yoga teachers to offer something new or keep up with Yoga trending. For me there are things I learnt decades ago that still remain in the precious realm of personal Sādhana. Like a Cedar tree I guess?