The Psychology of the Yoga Teacher

Self Esteem in the Light of the Yamas and Niyamas

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” -Winston Churchill Self-esteem is considerably more than what we write on our resume. It is not truly reflected in our Face Book status, titles, roles, income, nor those of our partners or kids, nor what we eat and not even our preferred style of yoga. We all know this yet we sometimes hope it is, so that perhaps it might be easily boosted. If our self-esteem is weak or out of balance we tend to look outside ourselves and compare to others. We can doubt ourselves or be full of ourselves, stay where we don’t belong or leave where we do. We may feel like we are always working to fill a hole—fill it with food, a person, clothes, a dream, another yoga class, or feel defeated that the hole just won’t seem to fill.

This presentation and workshop honours our journey with the self-esteem foundation we have built to date. Looking specifically at four fundamental pillars of self-esteem. Things change and in the modern world they change rapidly. How well we adjust to the changes that inevitably occur, also comes down to our self-esteem foundation. Growth is amazing and exciting, and sometimes, real growth requires a letting go of the old, which can also be challenging. It takes courage to let down some of the masks we wear and the behaviours we use to cope in an often-challenging inner and outer world.

The session will start by invoking some of that courage-strength of heart. There can be so much pressure to feel good, comfortable, happy, or more enlightened in the modern spiritual world. Maybe we don’t have to. Then, using compassion and guided self-study, we’ll run some inner diagnostics to see what we have in place now, and where there are some elements that we have simply outgrown. We will explore our existing foundations and take a fresh look and feel into them and then we can start or continue with some upgrades.

During the presentation and workshop, we’ll shine a combined modern psychology, alchemical and yoga philosophy stream of wisdom into our foundations. We’ll share and explore practical ways to do this and to keep it up. There is little point attending a workshop if we don’t make some behaviour change as a result

The modern world is no longer an age of great teachers rather it’s about great spirits, leaders and transformers. This session invites you to contribute and together we can all change for the better. Pre-requisite: Start the introspection before you come and let’s bring something real to the self-esteem table. Look for those places where what you know and what you do/feel/think/self-talk don’t match up. Bring a notebook and pen.

Patti McBain & Dr Elinor van Ommen

Presenters Patti McBain BA SCI – Senior Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Trainer, Coach and Mentor Dr Elinor van Ommen BSS, BAppSc (Psych)(Hons), Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) Patti has presented and trained since the early 80’s in yoga and personal development working with global educational organisations in this field. She founded her own Yoga and Meditation school and is chairperson of a not-for-profit foundation to educate about and promote sustainable wellbeing. Dr Elinor is a registered clinical psychologist with a strong client-centred approach. She finds her work inspiring and feels psychology has a great role in both moments of distress/despair and in contemplating questions of life meaning and purpose. She enjoys exchanging knowledge and ideas and also playing flute in a band.