Of the 8 limbs of yoga in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, three of them are meditation. dharana (focus) dhyana (fixation) and samadhi (deep meditation.) That’s three times more limbs than asana! Imagine… would you do asana without breathing? (pranayama, limb 4) Never, right? That would be crazy! So why do asana without attending to each and every limb? Each is equally important and equally interdependent. And when we do ALL the limbs together, we skyrocket our practice.
Here are 5 reasons why yoga teachers should meditate.
It makes you smarter.
Whoa… big claim! But seriously, the studies are showing that meditation increases your IQ. (HarvardMedicalSchool, among others) and have you ever seen really intelligent sequencing that had you looking at teaching in a whole new way? I would be so bold as to say that smarter teachers are better teachers.
It makes you happier.
IN the words of the great dharma teacher Pema Chodron, ”If your mind is expansive and unfettered, you will find yourself in a more accommodating world, a place that’s endlessly interesting and alive. That quality isn’t inherent in the place but in your state of mind. “ Studies are backing this one up too. The Universiqty of Wisconsin atMadisonhas even found that meditation increases the capacity you have for happiness in your BRAIN.
It gives you clarity.
Ram Dass has said, “The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” One of my students says, “It clears the cobwebs.” That same clarity that you may find coming out of shavasana, is accessible after 15 minutes of meditation when it’s part of a regular practice.
It gives you credibility.
When you are well versed and practiced in ALL of yoga, not just one limb, one part, your students trust you more. They can hear how much knowledge, wisdom, and practice inform your teaching. And when they feel safe in your care, they are that much more likely to allow the deep transformation that can come along with the practice.
It brings you bliss.
The word for mediation (samadhi) is also the word for bliss. Need more be said?’ Now, that may not have been true of your first experience meditating, but that first hurdle, of just getting started and building it into your life… once we do that, the sweetness starts to reveal itself.
The world needs more meditation teachers. You’re already teaching, already have students, and there is more and more demand for teachers well trained in the foundations of meditation.
*For more information on Amy’s 6-week online meditation course, please visit The Path To Bliss
Amy Cronise-Mead is committed to teaching a yoga that cultivates kindness, wisdom, and ultimate happiness, and is part of a lineage of teachers and teachings that runs all the way back to the ancient yogi Naropa and to the Buddha himself. Introduced to yoga asana as a child by her mother, and to mantra and meditation at age 15, Amy has been teaching Yoga as a spiritual discipline since 2000. As the Director of YOGADHARMA, she recently launched an online meditation course intended to give support and structure to those wanting a strong foundation for a regular meditation practice. You can find more at The Path to Bliss or connect on Facebook.