Prayer for Yoga Teachers

Via on Feb 8, 2011

Prayer yoga teacher

How the Connected Teacher Connects

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS LANGUAGE AND CONCEPTS LIKE “GOD” AND “PRAYER” WHICH MAY BE OFFENSIVE TO SOME.

Ashtangis have an invocation. (“Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde…”) Anusara teachers have a prayer. (“Om Namah Shivaya Gurave…”) Over the years I have developed my own yoga prayer based on my experience as a teacher and my work with A Course in Miracles.  I am sharing it in the hope that it will give other teachers ideas about tapping into their own inspiration for teaching.  In a recent article I listed  7 Yoga Teacher Disconnects.   But the truth is, the passion of the teacher trumps all training and technique.

Many teachers could admit that “not looking bad” is more important to them than their students’ transformation. One way a teacher can tap into their true passion is to remember “the” class — that one class that left them transformed and inspired them to become a teacher — and let the desire to share that experience be their highest priority.  Then the teacher is no longer concerned with whether they look good, weird, or foolish.  This is a good beginning step.  It frees them to teach from love.

The next step is a personal prayer to help invoke divine inspiration.  I offer this prayer as one example.

A Prayer for Yoga Teachers

There are four steps to this prayer, which is designed to clear away the blocks we have made against our divinity, to re-set what we really want, and to free our highest teaching.

STEP 1:  Remove everything we think we know.

The prayer begins like this:

I do not know the thing I am, where I am,

or how to look upon myself or upon the world.

This admission begins to clear away the distorted story of “me” that the ego mind asserts as it tries to personalize the world.  This clearing allows new possibility and real listening.

STEP 2: Name the specific things, people, and relationships that we have valued more than our relationship to Divine.

I have valued these things, people, circumstances, and statuses,

more than my relationship to You.

In this step, we list the things we really want, and the things we have been secretly praying for, including relationships, jobs, and other situations we have loaded with meaning.  We might also list our desire to be a “great” or inspiring teacher.

STEP 3:  We lay these things down.

I tried to make these my god.

I thought these could bring me true safety and love.

I was mistaken.

I would place nothing between us.

Once we declare what we really want, there is nothing left to block our connection to Divinity.  Finally,

STEP 4: Wait for inspiration in the quiet.

I wait for inspiration in quiet.

I know that I need do nothing myself.

I am free of rehearsing and rehashing my life.

If there are words to say, I will speak.

If there is action to take, I will act.

What higher calling could there be than to lay down your “self” and instead be your Self?

Through this intimate process, you may experience what A Course in Miracles calls “The Song of Heaven.”  This song contains the answers to all the things you had valued more than the divine.  But they are contained in the echoes and harmonics of the Song.  They are incidental to the Song itself. They are not the point of the prayer.

If you make them the point of the prayer, you will be praying for even more obstacles against God.  This would be an odd prayer indeed:  “Dear God, please make the barrier between us bigger and stronger.”   You will miss the point, which is directly connecting to your true self and creator.

Now, connected to the whole, do you, as a teacher, need protection from your “me” mind?  You now stand undefended before your class.  Without the defense of the “me” mind there is nothing blocking your connection to yourself, your creator, and your students.  It is possible for your highest teaching to come through you.  In this moment, you are free of all faults and all the mistakes in your life.  They are past; they are nowhere.

Your life may look the same to others, but it will feel different. Using this prayer, you will rest, alert in a deep, deep peace. Even your passion will arise from a deeply relaxed state.

Here is the full prayer again:

I do not know the thing I am, where I am,

or how to look upon myself or upon the world.


I have valued these things, people, circumstances, and statuses,

more than my relationship to You.  (List them.)


I lay these down.  I tried to make these my god.

I thought these could bring me true safety and love.  I was mistaken.

I would place nothing between us.


I wait for inspiration in quiet.

I know that I need do nothing myself.

I am free of rehearsing and rehashing my life.

If there are words to say, I will speak.

If there is action to take, I will act.

About Philip Urso

Yoga Teacher Philip Urso loves to train yoga teachers how to teach exhilarating and unscripted vinyasa yoga classes. He co-founded Live Love Teach Yoga Teacher Training School with fellow yoga teachers Deborah Williamson and Stacy Dockins. His two 5-star podcasts on iTunes — A Crash Course in Miracles and Yoga Classes, Live Love Teach — have over two million downloads. Philip studies the dynamics of love and fear and teaches practical, reliable and lasting methods for choosing between the two. His Elephant Journal column explores these very themes. More info at PhilipUrso.com

846 views

Comments

22 Responses to “Prayer for Yoga Teachers”

  1. Juliet says:

    Thank you for sharing. I love this. May I borrow it for my own teaching, or pieces of it, to share with my students? I like that it is not specific to any God or teaching and that it allows taking responsibility for oneself on the path to healing or spirituality, that it is not structured as a 12 step program but that it maintains some elements of it in its context.

    Juliet

  2. Shelley says:

    I would love to share this with my students. Thank you so much for writing this.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bethany, Dancing Dogs Yoga. Dancing Dogs Yoga said: Yoga Prayer– had to share http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/02/prayer-for-yoga-teachers/ […]

  4. yogiclarebear says:

    Oh Philip, my heart is soaring. I'm taking this and running…I mean praying! And will allow my Self to fit it to my, well, Self.

  5. Scott Robinson YesuDas says:

    This is beautiful, Philip; thanks for this.

  6. Well done, Phil.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and to Twitter right now.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor

  7. matthew says:

    Phil, I know it's what the Course says, but I never understood what it would feel like to value the Divine more than people.

  8. kathik says:

    been thinking about this a lot lately (getting 'empty' before class). please stop reading my mind : )
    thanks again, Philip

  9. It?s actually a cool and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  10. […] for yoga teachers but it would work for anyone. Read this 4-part prayer here, and read it from it’s source here: 1. I do not know the thing I am, where I am, or how to look upon myself or the […]

Leave a Reply