Dear yoginis and yogis,

Recently I discovered that the French wellness blogger “Yoga and Tea”  tried my online beginners’ classes on yogaconnect and explained what she liked about them.

I felt honoured to read that she found my descriptions and practical tips especially helpful for beginners.

Over the 9 years that I have been teaching yoga asana, pranayama, relaxation and meditation, I have had the privilege of introducing many, many people to yoga, in very diverse settings. There were elderly people, teenagers, fitness addicts and couch potatoes… Some of them are teachers themselves now! Because of circumstances (or “karma”, I guess), I began to teach when I was still myself a beginner, and maybe this made me more empathic for other beginners’ struggles with their stiff body and agitated mind. I also have a way with words because of my previous jobs, and beginners find my explanations easy to understand.

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I still sometimes question my legitimacy as a teacher (many of us do this – I have heard it happens to more women than men). Who am I to teach anything?  I would certainly not describe myself as a YOGI, since even the great André van Lysebeth used to say: “I am not a yogi, I am merely a yoga student”.

André van Lysebeth demonstrating Uddiyana bandha

André van Lysebeth demonstrating Uddiyana bandha

I worried about this for the first time at the end of my first teacher training, in India in 2007. One of my teachers answered: “you teach what you know to be true, what you have tried and tested. You pass on everything you have to give, and when your students have learnt all of that, then they can move on to a teacher who knows more.” This simple advice still helps me in moments of doubt.

Of course, one of the brilliant things about yoga is also that you can spend your entire life perfecting tweve basic asanas, two breathing practices, and one meditation technique, and that can very well be enough, as perfection is unattainable and also your ability will vary from day to day. So yes, I am still a beginner, even though I now get my body into the shape of the headstand and the lotus (most days). But sharing what little I know and watching the magic of yoga heal people still feels like a blessing to me, and I am grateful for every opportunity.

Namaste

PS: Here is the link to a free yogaconnect video of a guided meditation on youtube.

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