Live with Integrityas a Yoga Teacher
Successful yoga teachers live with integrity.
They say what they do and they do what they say.
They build trust and close relationships with their students, fellow yoga teachers and fellow studio owners. These relationships help them grow their classes and find bigger and better teaching opportunities.
Our students recognize when a teacher is not living with integrity or according to their values. There are countless stories of theft and sexual misconduct in the yoga world right now and it’s important for all yoga teachers to LIVE the practice of yoga beyond the mat.
Living with integrity means you are LIVING your yoga.
When you live with integrity, your actions and your words align and you influence, inspire and motivate others.
How to Live with Integrity
Here are 3 ways you can live with integrity as a yoga teacher.
1. Develop Your Values
How do you know when your words or actions align if you don’t know your values as a teacher or a person? We encourage you to live according to the 8 limbs of yoga.
Take the next 30 minutes and write down your values as a teacher. Here are some prompts to get you started.
Ahimsa – non-harming in a yoga class Are there any situations where you would consider specific asana poses to be “harmful?”
Satya – truthfulness in a yoga class We like to give ourselves LOTS of labels. What do you believe about yourself and your teaching? Is it true?
Asteya – non-stealing in a yoga class. Have you ever taken a yoga class and loved the sequence so much that you taught the same sequence the next day? Is that stealing?
Brahmacharya – Freedom from excessive desire in thought, word and deed from Rama Jyoti Vernon. How much is too much teaching for you? Have you ever taught so many classes that you feel completely burned out and deprived of all vital energy? Is this a violation of Brahmacharya?
Aparigraha – non-greed or non-hoarding Are you holding on to any classes or beliefs about yoga that you need to let go of?
There are many ways to develop values. If you need some inspiration, check out the values of the Yoga Teacher Conf here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
2. Question Everything
Never take a teaching as a singular or infallible truth. Be a critical thinker. Experiment with every teaching in your life and decide what is true for you. If a teaching doesn’t work for you, then look deeper into the meaning behind the teaching.
Ask hard questions like WHY and HOW.
If a teacher can’t answer the hard questions then reconsider that teacher and teaching. Never stop questioning, experimenting and learning.
3. Keep Good Company
Surround yourself with people who live with integrity.
If someone in your space is not living in alignment with their values, reconsider how much time you should be spending with this person.
Find a group of yoga teachers who appropriately challenge you to be a better person and teacher.
Join a community of like-minded yoga teachers at the Yoga Teacher Conf May 21-23.
We will challenge you to live your yoga practice off the mat and stay in alignment with your values.
Classes on Living Your Yoga
These classes will help you live in integrity and take your yoga off your mat and into the world.
- What is Bhakti: Love as a Path to the Self with Kaya Mindlin
- Finding Your Voice with Linda Sparrowe
- How We Are ALL Affected by Racism and How Yoga Can Move Us Forward with Kourtney de la Luz
- Upleveling the Yoga Profession for the 21st Century with Yoga Unify
- Redefining the Role of Yoga Teacher: Social Justice and Leadership with Kourtney de la Luz
- Live the Practice: The Art of Peaceful Living with Sid McNairy