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Necessity of a teacher?

ralphred2010-07-05 04:19:37 +0000 #1

I am yet another yoga newbie, starting out with the discipline for spiritual - as opposed to purely physical - reasons.

A few years back I 'discovered' that all of my own personal beliefs happened to coincide with Hindu beliefs, and since then have tried to educate myself - as much as a westerner can - in Hindu culture. Yoga seems the next logical step in this.

However, most of the classes around me are very westernised interpretations of this, practiced purely for the physical benefit it brings. I have attended a couple of these but I'm afraid I found practicing in a brightly lit sports center with a load of other people contrary to my aims in starting yoga. I guess I find it easier & more productive to pursue religious/spiritual practices alone.

Onto the point of this meandering post: Is it possible -in your opinion- to self 'teach' yoga? I have 'Light on Yoga' by Iyengar, and was proposing to follow his structured approach detailed in there. I also have access to various DVD's etc that can take me through the physical poses.

Some more background on me: I am no new-comer to physical exercise, having trained in various martial arts, weightlifting and rockclimbing for many years. In other words, I am aware of my body's capabilities and limitations, and can differentiate between 'good' discomfort, and an injury waiting to happen. We used many yoga poses as part of the cool down when I trained in Brazilian Jiujitsu, and I thus have a basic grounding in *some* poses.

Apologies for the long-winded post. I have a disease where I can't stop talking

justwannabe2010-07-05 04:28:37 +0000 #2
a good teacher is AMAZING in what can be accomplished in a short period of time. I am new to yoga but I can tell you I have gained SSSSOOOO much more in 3 months then I did in the six months prior to finding a teacher. I tried vidoes and reading books, just did not do it for me, but it did get me curious and ready for when I would find a teacher. I feel I am furtunate becauseit only took me going to two places before I found one I feel comfortable with. His studio only supports 15 and he wants to keep it that way. He does not want 30 students, it would get too impersonal.

He is an inspiration to be around, because he walks the walk. I realize he is not perfect but his vast knowledge and humble demeanor inspire me. He does things like have his own garden, eats a Yogic diet, works with wood, teaches me about life, diet, relationship with the divine etc....

a dimly lit candle will stay dimly lit when by itself and not light up very much. Put the dimly lit candle right next to a bright one and the heat/energy from the bright one will transfer to the dimly lit one and make its flame bigger, which in turn willl give more energy back to the bright one and enhance its flame as well.

life is a search and if you keep searching sooner or later you will find an instructor that will enhance your flame

good luck in the search

donna2010-07-05 04:51:52 +0000 #3
ralphred, learning from a yoga teacher is something else from trying to learn on your own.

be happy with the classes you can attend. learn, practice yoga at this level.

it is a lot more than you can do on your own. some day, you'll have the teacher you desire.

read about Yama and Niyama, especially about Santosha
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 05:41:07 +0000 #4
You are asking if it is possible to learn without a teacher. Or self teaching. And the answer to that must be "yes". But the more revealing question is "what is the likelihood of me teaching myself a 5,000 year old subtle science of the body?" To this I think the answer is "slim". So it IS possible.

I don't believe there is any substitute for a well trained teacher bringing a wealth of experiences. Lineage is important (but not the only thing).

If we remained the intuitive being we were born to be instead of assimilating into the carelessly crafted culture we have, then it would be very possible - for many things.

It may just be finding the right fit. You know they say "when the student is ready the teacher will appear".
ralphred2010-07-05 04:57:32 +0000 #5
thanks for the responses. I think I will try out a few more places before I make up my mind one way or the other yet. There are a couple nearby that I have found that look a bit more promising.
Chandra2010-07-05 06:37:55 +0000 #6
The external teacher's ultimate goal is to reveal the inner teacher.

This is in my opinion the ability to listen inwardly with honesty. Most of us are not yet there. Teachers appear in many forms. Keep listening. That which you seek is also seeking you.





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