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Staying In Your Yoga Teacher Lane


It seems that everywhere you look in the wellness industry at the minute there are practitioners offering you a transformative experience through what they have to offer. 'heal yourself with this' 'become a new you with that'


There's a growing propensity for yoga teachers to claim to offer a healing process - perhaps in an attempt to make themselves stand out from the crowd, perhaps there is a genuine attempt or desire to help others. More often than not - this is not in a 1 to 1 setting, but as part of a group class or retreat experience.


Maybe it's my legal background, but it fills me with unease. I am a yoga teacher - I'm qualified and experienced in guiding you through your practice on the mat, through meditations, breathing exercises and even in teaching you the philosophies of yoga - of how I apply them to my everyday life and how you might do that too. There's no doubt that the practice of yoga and meditation can transform how you think and feel about yourself - but this isn't overnight and it most certainly isn't something I claim to offer as standard. Your experience is just that - it's individual to you and if you find yourself changing or growing then it's your efforts, not mine, that have brought this about. How much of it is down to your yoga practice is really for you alone to know.


I am not a therapist - I am not qualified to support you through your healing process from, as one teacher described, 'your big T and little t traumas.' Now perhaps this teacher is a qualified trauma therapist, or otherwise qualified to provide this support and if so then - all well and good. But if not - then that promise to heal is one that is at worst negligent and at best deeply misguided and misleading.


My hope for all well-being practitioners is that we stay in our lane. Don't offer something that you are not qualified to deliver - leave that to the experienced professionals. If nothing else you underestimate the value in what you DO deliver.


I love what I do and I believe in the benefits it brings to everyone who steps on their mat with me as their guide. I know that you leave class feeling lighter than you arrived, I know that you leave feeling more relaxed and at ease. You might find that yoga has a part to play in your healing journey - whatever that might be - and I'm always there to lend a listening ear to anyone who might need it - but your doctor or therapist will be there to support you in ways that I can not and never would promise to.


Let me know what you think - I'm always open to debate and don't profess that my opinion is the only one that counts. Is it right for your yoga teacher to offer therapy as part of their group practices?

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