Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Self-Care is Essential for Yoga and Movement Instructors

A Successful Leader is One Who is Willing to be Led

I recently had a wonderful chat with a fellow yoga student who takes my Therapeutic Inspired Gentle Yoga Class on Monday mornings.

While we were collecting props and settling in to take a Restorative Yoga and Sound Meditation Class from one of my favorite fellow yoga instructors at SunSpark Yoga.Renee Schwan., she shared with me how surprised she was to see that I take so many gentle classes even though I'm a [seasoned] Yoga instructor.

This conversation was a wonderful opportunity to share how I was fortunate enough to have had dance, movement, and yoga educators who were mentors as well as teachers; compassionate and generous human beings that instilled in me the importance of "leading by example."

I shared with my fellow student that I've made a commitment to myself, that for each class I teach, I take two classes; at least one class has to be Gentle, Restorative, Sound, Meditation, or a combination of two or more, and the other can be a bit more "vigorous."

There is something so valuable about allowing myself to be led in practice.

Over 20 years ago, when I would share my reluctance to teach, with one of my dearest dance mentors, he would tell me, "when you begin teaching more is when you will learn so much-you will become a better dancer, you will become a better will have more to will understand yourself and others better...the way they learn, the way they will see things and feel things differently."

The first time I heard that bit of advice was over 25 years ago; and again in 2001. And holy cow, he sure was right!

And I continue to learn, as I teach and take classes of all kinds.

Whether it is dance, yoga, or any other movement modality, I encourage anyone to take classes from instructors who are continually learning, exploring, and allowing themselves the gift of being a student.

I learn so much when I teach because I understand, respect, and enjoy being a student.

I must replenish what I give.

I cannot give respectfully to myself or to others if I do not make it a point to receive.

It is my opinion that one cannot lead well, unless they are willing to be led.

Melissa Adylia Calasanz C-IAYT
Certified Yoga Therapist
Movement Educator

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