What is your teaching Dharma?
Finding your own way as a yoga teacher through times of change. By Paula Hines
Earlier this year I had the good fortune of studying with Tracee Stanley (traceeyoga.com). During our studies there was reference to Covid and what this time means for us all. Related to this, much resonated, but a phrase that stuck was with regard to what had been the initial rush to teach online. It was the observation that there had, at times, been a sense of ‘throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what sticks’. I too noticed this: it is partly why I did not rush to teach online immediately. For some, I feel this rush was rooted in (understandable) fear, but I also noticed some teachers offering styles of yoga they had apparently not taught before. Maybe styles deemed more ‘popular‘? I say this not to judge, merely to observe. Though, in that instance, I feel it is worth asking oneself if you have spent more time looking at what others are doing rather than looking inward and getting clear on your own ‘teaching Dharma’, to coin a phrase Tracee Stanley used.
One of the many things that came from my own experience of this year was that deep listening was (and still is) more necessary than ever. I did move to teaching online, but not instantly; I needed to pause and reflect first. I doubled down on my practices, delving deeper into Svadhyaya.
As well as studying with Tracee Stanley, I was also guided to study Menopause Yoga with Petra Coveney. I was struck by how this approach resonated with what I already teach and the direction my own practice has travelled in the space of perimenopause. I was compelled further because in my menopause research it was uncommon to see people who look like me. Then earlier this year I saw a video from Karen Arthur (find her on Instagram @menopausewhilstblack) where she reminded us of the obvious: that black women experience menopause too. For the vast majority of information available you could be forgiven for forgetting that women of all ethnicities go through menopause and not knowing that ethnicity may have a bearing on one’s experiences of symptoms.
My teaching Dharma has not radically changed, but it has shifted slightly. I realise I have been on the path that has guided me here for several years now and this journey is not over. How about you? Are you clear on your teaching Dharma? Are you experiencing menopause symptoms? This October, Paula Hines will be offering a special Sleep + Rest online programme.
For details visit: ucanyoga.co.uk