It’s been a countless years now since yoga was only practiced and taught in India under the careful supervision of a master. Today yoga classes might be found at the sports center, the community center, even someone’s home. Some people feel it has lost its spiritual essence and become simply a stretching exercise class. In this article in Yoga Journal by Dr. Swami Shankardev Saraswati we learn what should be at the heart of the yoga class.
Teaching Yoga in a Spiritual Manner
The most important first step for teachers is to develop their own spirituality. Spiritual knowledge comes only from a great deal of study and personal self-development. It takes time to develop true wisdom and a grounded, authentic spirituality. This cannot be achieved from books, and if we attempt to teach what we do not know, our students will quickly perceive this. If our spirituality is grounded in authentic realization, then we develop a heart-connected relationship with all of life and, therefore, with our students. Then even simple practices become potent.
Remember the difference between religion and spirituality. An atheist may lead a more spiritual and giving life than someone who professes to practice religion.
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If you want to learn more about the spiritual side of yoga, I recommend this book by Deepak Chopra: Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Mind, Body and Spirit.
Click here to read more about this book.