About sixteen centuries ago, the Indian sage Master Asanga—in his book called The Jewel of the Sutras—described four gifts that we give our students, so that they do come back for their practice.
Give Them The Material Things They Need
In the yoga world of today, this means that we have to prepare a beautiful, peaceful space that people will be attracted to. We need to make sure that people of any financial means can come and participate. If necessary, we sacrifice from our own resources, so that others may benefit.
Encourage and Inspire
With proper training, they will in this lifetime transform into beings who can help millions of people. You need to remind them of this, constantly
The modern yoga masters of Tibet have said that there is an incredible spiritual occurrence happening here in the west. About 20 million Americans have a regular yoga practice; and according to these teachers, they have all been high yogis in their past lives. These masters say that our own people—without being aware of it—are on the very verge of total enlightenment. With proper training, they will in this lifetime transform into beings who can help millions of people. You need to remind them of this, constantly.
Get Them To Practice
Make sure that you are teaching to their level. Think of what they want, think of what they need. Think of what will help them
Find ways to get your students to work every day, whether in the studio or at home. Make sure that you are teaching to their level. Think of what they want, think of what they need. Think of what will help them.
Practice What You Preach
You cannot help anyone if you are not a living example of the practice.
Despite the demands upon you as a teacher, you must continue yourself to work and grow on the yoga path, by doing your own practice every day. You cannot help anyone if you are not a living example of the practice.
Options for Further Study
To deepen your study on many of the topics introduced in this lecture, please refer to the following courses on The Knowledge Base:
Teachings about Yoga on The Knowledge Base
There is a strong relationship between our ability to love and our inner body of channels, chakras, and prana. Great yogis of ancient times mapped out this inner body, sometimes called the Rainbow Body, and found methods of using it not only for greater health, but for greater knowledge—and for a greater capacity to love.
Understanding the Buddhist idea of emptiness properly is absolutely crucial for yoga to work properly, and that’s what mainly distinguishes Tibetan yoga from all other methods of yoga is the special emphasis on working at the physical postures of yoga from the inside: recognizing that whether yoga “works” on us all depends upon karmic seeds that we plant in our own minds by taking care of other people.