Leigh Blashki

What is it we are really teaching?

We call ourselves ``yoga teachers``, but do we really understand what that means?

Has the millennia-old art and science of yoga survived to the 21st century because it has been adapted to suit the times, or has it survived (and possibly thrived) because its fundamental tenets, principles and underlying world-view have remained broadly consistent throughout the ages?

For a growing number of yoga teachers, what they do might more accurately be called “yoga instruction”, rather than yoga teaching, wherein students are instructed through a set of ‘practices’ in accord with the style within which the instructor has been trained. This is not to demean the large numbers of well-meaning ‘yoga instructors’ who are providing generally useful classes for their communities. The question for us is: are we really teaching yoga?

In a profession where we call ourselves yoga ‘teachers’, it is important to understand the nature of being a ‘teacher’. The following definitions from online dictionaries may be helpful and accord with the concept of a teacher in the Indian traditions from which yoga has come to us.

“Instruction deals with the practical aspects of a subject or an art. On the other hand, teaching also deals with the theoretical aspects of a subject or an art”.

“A teacher is an educator who is supposed to groom his/her students in all aspects of the subject, both theoretical and practical. An instructor mostly deals with the practical work of telling a student how to do something.”

Are we teaching yoga with all its depth and breadth, or are we putting people through the motions? Of course we need to meet people where they are at – which is most often the physical needs addressed by asana, but can we weave in the richness of all that yoga has to offer, helping students unfold through all the eight limbs and re-awaken to their wholeness?

At the heart of being a (yoga) teacher is ‘relationship’. TKV Desikachar and A.G. Mohan have often been quoted saying that relationship is the most important fundamental in yoga teaching. Likewise Jiddu Krishnamurti believed that relationship was a sine qua non for personal development through yoga.

In this presentation you will be invited to connect with aspects of your essential nature and find deep relationship with your Self. From this ‘home-ground’ you will be guided into a self-enquiry about your connection with the essence yoga and how you might use this as a foundation for the rest of the conference and weave these understandings into your teaching.

Keynote Speaker

Leigh Blashki

Leigh Blashki has been a yoga practitioner for 50 years and teacher for 40 years. He has served on the IAYT Standards, Accreditation and Certification Committees and is past-president of Yoga Australia. He is widely recognised as one of the leaders of our field worldwide and has presented both keynotes and workshops at conferences across the globe over many years