Guruitis – A Modern Yoga Teachers Ailment

I feel quite nauseous these days and quite uneasy about the way Yoga is portrayed in world  by people who act like small Gods. They have a huge following but at their heart, bless em, they pretend it’s about their students but really they love ‘Yoga posing’ and love to be adored. To me these people have “guruitis’ and need to take a rain check. Just saying.

Definition of a Guru : A person who some people regard as an expert or leader. 

To me, that’s someone who has gained the knowledge and is the ‘go to’ person for that particular subject.

I am not perfect. In fact, I am a regular Yoga teacher, loving what she does and keen to do it forever and make a good living in the process, but I also have my faults. I have had big ego moments in my life, in the corporate world and loved it for a while! In fact I think ego is important. As my beloved, Joel Young would say, “we are multiple perspectives happening at once” and the ego isn’t to be ridded like a smelly dog!

But when you teach Yoga or anything where others are learning from you, particularly heart-centred work, I think you have a responsibility to pass on what you know, with humbleness and keep your ego in check. 

I am reading an excellent book called Intelligent Yoga and Peter Blackaby, the author, has this to say “Being led to conform to a teacher’s personal viewpoint is inevitably disempowering for the student. All the power lies with the teacher as the possessor of knowledge” Wow, thats a heck of a power trip if you let it go to your head, when really this is a heart centred beautiful art.

I say to my Yoga students, I am your guide and not your teacher, although the word ‘teacher’ is widely used to identify a skill, so I use it.

My aim in every class is to speak the knowledge and steer you, but maintain a balance where you feel supported and yet fully in control of your own practise. That way YOU are your own Guru.

Too many teachers spend time posturing at the front of class in almost unobtainable levels of Yoga poses, freaking some people out and turning them off of what is an amazing discipline with amazing benefits. Have you experienced this lately?

This is not a Gina PR blog neither is it a slating for other teachers..….but here’s what I would love you to take away from this :

  • Be your own Guru – your inner teacher is king, every damn day!

  • Be inspired SURE by someone who teaches you Yoga – but keep it real. Worshipping can get you lost in the person not the Yoga.

  • What are you actually learning and does it help you advance in your own practise? – Yoga   isn’t about pulling a bunch of postures then going home. Does your teacher inspire YOUR personal practise?

  • How do you FEEL when you have been to Yoga? – Uplifted, inspired and physically yummy? or a bit deflated, thinking “OMG how am I ever going to be as good as the teacher?” That could be a sign of the teacher having Guruitis.

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Yoga teacher at Gina Hardy Yoga
I am a Yoga guide, relationship coach and therapist. I focus on teaching Yoga these days and love to teach in class, on retreat and in a 1:1 setting with clients. My motto for life is 'Live, Learn, Love, Pay it Foward' Pay your wisdom forward, tread lightly on this earth and leave footprints of love. Thank you, you are always loved no matter what. Gx

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