Thoughts for New Teachers
By Amy Sharpe
Samahita Retreat opened the New Year with Ron Reid and Marla Meenakshi Joy who brought their own blend of experience, fun and teaching to their retreats. Amy Sharpe met with Ron to seek out his advice for new teachers, and those looking to deepen their awareness when adjusting their students as covered in his training, 'Ahimsa and the Art of Hands-on adjustments'.
Samahita Retreat is home to many new teachers who graduate from their training here. What would be your advice for a new teacher?
'The real opportunity lies in teaching. You can train a lot which is great, but you really learn by doing. That's the opportunity. And no matter how many years you've been teaching just when you think you have seen it all something new gets thrown at you. Your job is to be present in the situation and be open to the dialogue. Developing a strong personal practice is one of our best resources as teachers. The real source of our inspiration as teachers is the continued development of our practice on all of its different levels.'
You talk about ensuring that yoga teachers are aware of the concept of Ahimsa when adjusting their students, what do you mean by this?
'We encounter a lot of injuries when we travel, sometimes caused by teachers. Our Asana practice comes from the eight limbs and from the very first limb of the Yama's we find Ahimsa, or non -violence. We feel it is important for people to commit to a non-violent practice from the beginning. When adjusting we are engaging with another being, intuitively trying to understand what they need and where they are at. Start slowly, start gently and ease into the process, like a crescendo, gradually increasing pressure slowly until you start to feel resistance. Explore the deeper perception of the pose, discover the balance that needs to be achieved. See what it is that you want to correct, assist and facilitate, and remember that everyone is capable of expressing the posture in their own beautiful way'.
Ron Reid has been practicing Yoga for over 30 years and teaching since 1988. Ron has studied with Sri K. PattabhiJois and Sharath both in India and North America and was one of the first Canadian teachers to be authorized by PattabhiJois. In addition to regular classes at his studio,' Downward Dog', he conducts workshops and teacher trainings in Canada, the U.S., Europe, the U.K. And Asia.Ron is also an accomplished musician and composer and performs with his partner Marla MeenakshiJoy under their group name "Swaha."
For more information on Ron, Marla and all of our past retreats please click here.