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ParkoLife | Why you don't need a guru to practice Yoga

For many years the practice of yoga was learned by dedicated students taught by their guru. Students learned yoga from one teacher or lineage and then either taught those same teachings or continued to study and live life.

Today, when we read texts about how to learn yoga, you will always find a statement about the importance of finding a teacher. Presented as fact, this statement leads aspiring yoga practitioners to believe they indeed need to find their “guru.” An ideal of the guru is romanticized and categorized in the minds of many as an “if-then” statement — if I find a guru, then I will become enlightened. The problem with this dichotomy is that the student becomes disempowered by the notion that she can never find success on her own. Students are unable to progress in the true practice of yoga when this idea of the guru guiding practice becomes all-encompassing.

At one time, following different lineages meant the equivalent of believing in completely different religions. Today the many lineages of yoga are based on the same, or similar, foundations. How the teaching is delivered has become disputed and controversial, resulting in “gurus” and their students insisting that there is only one RIGHT way to do a posture or a practice. This way of teaching leads to confusion for the students.

The context, history, culture, and life experience of person will drastically affect what and how they teach. All of those variables mix together to create a certain kind of resonance that either jives with your understanding of the world or not. This is why we can have so many yoga teachers in the world AND we can all prosper. What we have to offer is uniquely our own even though we’re all teaching pretty much the same thing. That does not mean that there is only one RIGHT way to teach or learn. There is only one right way for you, which may or may not match the right way for me.

A true guru or teacher empowers students to find their own right way. Often times that means finding a new teacher or doing something completely different. Really good yoga teachers are in the business of constantly putting themselves out of business. For this reason, yoga and business aren’t great matches. A teacher that creates dependency is not doing his or her students any favors.

Experience lots of styles of yoga, lots of ways of teaching, lots of teachers, and find someone who really speaks to you. When they no longer excite you, find someone else. It’s the greatest complement to a teacher when a student strikes out on her own. That means you really get it.

Study many perspectives. Experiment. Contemplate. Synthesize. And then go out in the world and be unapologetically you. Keep changing, smiling, thinking, and being.






"Warrior me " ParkoLife