As yoga teachers, it is wise to reflect on our passion to practice and share yoga. Practicing yoga, sharing yoga: the two are interdependent. None of us would be driven to teach if we didn’t find our own practice inspiring. Therefore, our first need is intentionally to keep our own yoga practice joyful, inspired, and vibrant —so we can infuse our teaching with the same qualities. And of course, we cannot limit our practice to the yoga mat. Our attitudes, lifestyle, and meditation practice are essential ingredients in the recipe for our happiness and fulfillment.
Just as each soul in creation is unique, so too our reasons for teaching may vary widely. But when traced back to their essence, our reasons are the same. Sanaatan Dharma, the “eternal religion,” tells us that our true nature is bliss and, as Swami Kriyananda has said, “The nature of bliss is to expand itself.” All our passion for teaching then, and for life itself, is to find joy, and to share it with others. When we make this truth a priority in our life, everything falls into place.
Thus our directive as teachers is a joyful one. In posture or pranayama, yoga therapy or meditation, and in everyday life, our ultimate goal is to impart divine joy. We can do this with a smile, an act of kindness, and a joyful, compassionate heart in our work, relationships, and play.
Spontaneous, sustained, and great is the happiness we find when, with faith and dedication, we approach our yoga teaching and life this way. Gradually, like thousands of dancing flames of light across the earth, our divine joys together illumine and ignite hearts, minds, and souls everywhere with God-conscious Joy. As Paramhansa Yogananda said in his poem “Samadhi”: “From joy I came, for joy I live, in sacred joy I melt.”