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The Creative Yoga Teacher

23 May 2018   Shanti Gowans


The art of Giving

Teaching arises from the spiritual art of giving.

The law of giving is one of the most important laws of manifesting and it's one of the only ways you can use to truly change the trajectory of your life. If you feel blocked and there's something you want to manifest but it keeps eluding you, simply start giving more, and doors will magically open. However, the truth is, giving from a position of abundance leads to you receiving more. But giving from a position of lack though leads to more lack. It's the position that you are giving from, your emotions and how you truly feel about a subject, that makes all the difference.

Teach by example

Be excited to explore yoga with your students on myriad levels, and definitely on a different level to what you usually enjoy. 

How do you hug yourself every day? 

Yoga is one way to hug yourself. It sends out love to the world. Sending out love attracts goodness i.e. solutions, but that can only happen when you truly love yourself. This is why a self-hug every day is such an amazingly powerful exercise, because it reinforces the signals of self-love and allows it be grounded more in you. Teach your students to hug themselves every day too.

Communication is healing

Encourage your students to communicate - they love to talk, and many of them have so much suppressed stuff blocking their progress.

Open the class by having each participant say their name and something about themselves that they want others to know. This will help you gear the class towards their likes and interests. For instance, teach them to count to 10 in another language while holding poses; practice various types of warrior poses for leg strength to support their interest in sport. Playing upbeat music (Bollywood music works in my classes , or music by Derek Trucks (Sahib Teri Bandi/Maki Mandi) during numerous sun salutations with variations testing balancing skills will wow the guitarists!

Multi-level classes

Explore a more structured approach to attempt advanced poses by going through a beginner, intermediate and advanced form of the asana.

Encourage each participant to stay at the level which is most comfortable and doable for him/her. Helping a student find which form best suits their ability is empowering. Understand that success in teaching lies in discovering the pose that works best for a student and not necessarily by what everyone else is doing.

Enjoy challenges such as holding poses for a longer time and trying more advanced poses. For instance, holding various plank poses with attention to breathing through an agreed upon time period (either a count or a short song).

Teach yogic philosophy

Take a moment (or longer) to breathe and acknowledge how finding our “edges” in the poses (how far to go or not go) is another way to learn about ourselves.

The practice of ahimsa (non-violence)

Focus on choosing practices to do no harm. Choosing how deeply to experience a pose works much the same way. Begin to build awareness how this choice can affect their bodies in a positive, non-hurtful way.

Restorative and relaxing yoga

Use bolsters, pillows and other props to enhance Shavasana. This adds another dimension to creating an individualised restful state which is definitely a transferable activity to their home environment! Just gathering up some pillows and blankets at home to get comfortable and listening to their own mellow music, or my guided practices on CDs/MP3s would be a great de-stressor for each individual.

What about play?

After doing asanas such as planks and dolphins, initiate testing arm strength by having a tug of war. It is a great way alternative way to finish a class with lots of noise, teamwork and laughter.

Go the extra mile

Going above and beyond the call of duty and do something truly wonderful and excellent for others. This is what it takes. The more you go the extra mile for someone and make that normal, the greater will be the leverage and force you have to generate exceptional outcomes. 

Give thanks, compliment others more and be grateful

Giving thanks and complimenting others more will open up doorways you never imagined. It releases positive energy into the world which boomerangs back several fold. Make this a habit and you will notice the difference quickly. Miraculous returns appear to come out of nowhere.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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