Is Your Yoga Teaching Doing Your Yoga for You? ~ Julia George

get elephant's newsletter
by Daku Resort, Savusavu Fiji

As a yoga teacher, I hear this frequently when socializing: “Oh, I used to do yoga all the time. I had this really great teacher, but she left and I haven’t been back.”

Does this mean your yoga teacher was doing the yoga for you?

I’ve recently taken on classes previously taught by a colleague. He’s an amazing practitioner, therapist and yoga teacher. When first asked, I went into a tail spin, knowing that I don’t teach in the same manner he does. I hadn’t been to any of his classes, and I made a deliberate decision not to go once I decided to begin teaching his classes. I can’t become something I’m not, so to ease the comparisons and my inner critic, I decided to stay grounded and teach from the place I always have.

I’m psychic and clairvoyant. That’s my day job. I love the gifts I have and sharing that space with people. So in the space of teaching a new class with new students, it is very easy for me to tune into the energy and thoughts of the class. It’s hard tuning out “My old teacher didn’t do that,” “Wow, I wish he didn’t give up this class,”  or “I wonder if I can leave.”

My job is to stay grounded and realize that this it is not about me.

I have been in the same position as these students myself. I used to practice religiously with one of my beloved mentors, Rebecca, from my studio back in Denver. It was very easy to stick with her classes, and only her classes.

When she moved on, there was a distinct energy I felt around going to other classes, knowing they didn’t practice as she did. That experience was a great revelation to my yoga teaching:  Hold the space for students to practice; don’t do the yoga for them.

If you have an attachment to your yoga teacher, ask yourself, why? What are you learning from your teacher? What space do they hold for you? Having an attachment to a teacher is not an issue but not going to yoga again if they leave is.

I personally love going to new classes. I revel in the experience new teachers and new classes bring to me. Yes, my inner critic is sometimes active:  “Oh, I love that,”  “I would never teach that”, or  “Wow, I’ll definitely integrate that into my class!”

For teacher and student both, mentorship is very important and at the very heart of any yoga practice.

As a student here are some reminders:

>> Hold on to your power! Feel free to interview new teachers (prior to class!) to see if you resonate with them. Where did they study? What’s their ethos?

>> Remember that only you can realize the answers to your soul searching. Allow your yoga practice, not your teacher, to help lead you there.

>> Be aware of your issues. Be aware of the energy you bring to each class.

>> Are you seeking a missing part of yourself from your yoga teacher? Do they have an energy or personality aspect that you need to integrate or bring home to yourself?

>> Are you star struck? Do you have the illusion that your yoga teacher is a perfect being and that you will never measure up? Are you just wanting to follow rather than do your own work to become the divine being that you already are?

>> Good yoga teachers help their students to become independent, by encouraging self exploration and an at home yoga practice. They may even encourage you to attend other classes that may benefit certain physical or yogic areas of growth.

>> The next time you attend a yoga class with a new teacher, hold the space of equanimity. Be open to the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences before you. What arises for you? Is it hard to be vulnerable to the unknown? Is it hard to not know what’s coming next?


Stay on your mat.

Be open.


JULIA GEORGE has been doing readings and working with clients for 20 years.  She has worked in Australia, London and Denver, Colorado. Julia is Clairvoyant + Clairaudient.  Julia is also a yoga instructor and meditation teacher and guide. Julia is on 4BC radio twice a month doing readings on air. Julia writes on Australian topics relating to yoga, sustainability/ environment and spirituality:


Editor: April Dawn Ricchuito 

is a new feature on Elephant Journal—enabling you to instantly share your mindful ideas, photos, art, YouTube videos/Instagram links & writings with our 5 million readers. Try it Now.

Write Now

About elephant journal

elephant journal is dedicated to "bringing together those working (and playing) to create enlightened society." We're about anything that helps us to live a good life that's also good for others, and our planet. >>> Founded as a print magazine in 2002, we went national in 2005 and then (because mainstream magazine distribution is wildly inefficient from an eco-responsible point of view) transitioned online in 2009. >>> elephant's been named to 30 top new media lists, and was voted #1 in the US on twitter's Shorty Awards for #green content...two years running. >>> Get involved: > Subscribe to our free Best of the Week e-newsletter. > Follow us on Twitter. Fan us on Facebook. > Write: send article or query. > Advertise. > Pay for what you read, help indie journalism survive and thrive—and get your name/business/fave non-profit on every page of Questions? Send to [email protected]


2 Responses to “Is Your Yoga Teaching Doing Your Yoga for You? ~ Julia George”

  1. cathywaveyoga says:

    interesting topic and little nudge!

  2. calamala says:

    hmm, well, one of my favorite teachers just left to another city. I am at a studio where I and many have invested in contracts.. many new teachers. One has little training, is not focused, wanders back and forth to set her ipod, makes mistakes with evenness of sides of a sequence.. and uses very poor cuing. What does thi sbring up fo rme? Anger, irritation, frustration.. She has several replacement spots on the schedule.

    I went open to the first class.. we did little, her lack of planning meant we had many breaks and tho finding one's soul is touted here, I come for physical fitness; leaving a class feeling like to get a workout I have to do something else.. is a signal.
    I gave the studio feedback.. waited a week and the next class equally bad. Another week.. uurrrggg. What are the options? Avoid her? She teaches at good times for me. Give more feedback? Dont want to be a grouch, might. Do my own thig.. I can and will, but I am also respectful and in small classes as hers are nowit sticks out more.. I amworking on hwo to give feedback again.
    Two other new teachers are great, unfortunately sporadic.. time and energy will evolve, I hope.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.