How do you feel about being a learner? By Paula Hines
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Though I’d had a little experience of yoga before, it was not until 2001 that I reached a turning point. This was the year when I developed and committed to a consistent yoga practice and began down the path of studying yoga beyond asana. At the time I had no idea what I’d started, as I never imagined yoga would impact my life so much or lead to me training to teach.
Since I began to share yoga with others as a teacher in 2011, I have been on numerous trainings and undertaken many hours of self-study. Does this make me a yoga expert? I wouldn’t say so. Related to this, I feel it is worth noting that though trainings can provide a certification, a certification itself does not an expert make anyway. In addition, what we actually learn can depend on who and where we are learning from. Good things tend to require space to develop, so experience, practice, self-study, dedication and, importantly, time (as this makes all the aforementioned possible) are all invaluable.
While I have learned much over the past 22 years, I’m fully aware that it’s only a fraction of what there is to know. I find it comforting that it is not possible to know everything. It means that there is always more to learn and reminds me to remain curious and open. Understanding that it isn’t possible to know everything also takes away any pressure and allows me to learn and integrate at my own pace.
So no, I don’t call myself an expert. Instead, I see myself as a student on a path of life-long learning and part of that has so far included sharing yoga with others in the teaching space. Granted, more than a decade of the latter does bring with it a degree of experience that I didn’t have at the beginning. Will I always teach in the formal sense? Who knows for sure? As with many things in life, time will tell.
As the years pass, the more connected I feel to yoga as a way of being and a path to liberation. It’s certainly not bliss and rainbows, but I’m grateful that yoga found me, and that the path is ongoing. I’m happy to be a life-long learner.
The practice and the learning continue.
Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer. Her book Rest + Calm (Green Tree, Bloomsbury Publishing) is out now in paperback, audiobook and Kindle/eBook. Find out more at: ucanyoga.co.uk