By Liza Bertini
For yoga teachers, December not only marks the end of a calendar year but also an opportunity for profound self-reflection. The practice of introspection is woven into the fabric of yoga philosophy, and as the year draws to a close, taking time to reflect can deepen your connection to your teaching practice, your students, and most importantly, yourself. Let’s explore why reflecting on the past year is important for yoga teachers and look at ways to guide you through this transformative process.
The Power of Reflection
Here are some reasons why it is helpful to reflect on this past year:
1. To Celebrate the Journey
As a yoga teacher, you've guided your students through their personal journeys on the mat. Now, it's time to celebrate your own teaching milestones. Reflect on the classes you led, the workshops you facilitated, and the growth you've witnessed in your students. Acknowledge your impact and the positive energy you've shared.
2. To Learn from the Mat
Just as students learn valuable life lessons on the yoga mat, so do teachers. Reflect on the challenges you faced in your teaching practice and how they contributed to your evolution. Did you introduce new elements to your classes? Did you experiment with different teaching styles? Embrace the lessons that emerged from these experiences.
3. To Set Meaningful Intentions for Your Teaching Path
Reflecting on the past year allows you to set intentions for the evolution of your teaching practice. Consider the workshops or trainings you want to attend, the themes you want to explore in your classes, and how you can deepen your connection with your students. This intentional reflection will shape your path as a yoga teacher in the coming year.
Ways for Yoga Teachers to Reflect
Below are some of my favorite ways to gather my thoughts and experiences in a way that helps me move into the new year with renewed purpose and excitement.
1. Teaching Journal
Maintain a teaching journal where you can document class themes, sequences, and student interactions. Reflect on what worked well, what resonated with your students, and any adjustments you'd like to make. This journal becomes a valuable resource for refining your teaching methods.
2. Yoga Retreat or Workshop
Consider attending a yoga retreat or workshop to immerse yourself in your own practice. This dedicated time away can provide clarity and inspiration, allowing you to return with fresh insights and a renewed sense of purpose in your teaching.
3. Meditation on Teaching
Dedicate a few moments of mindful meditation specifically on your role as a yoga teacher. Focus on your breath, and let thoughts about your teaching journey come to the surface. This practice can offer clarity and a deeper connection to your teaching purpose.
Yoga Teacher Journaling Prompts
Take some time to consider answering the following journaling prompts for clarity:
What were the highlights of my teaching journey this year?
How did I navigate challenges in my classes, and what did I learn from them?
What themes or topics did I explore in my classes, and how did they resonate with my students?
In what ways did I deepen my yoga practice this year?
What workshops, trainings, or events do I want to attend to enhance my teaching skills?
How did I foster a sense of community and connection among my students?
What adjustments or improvements would I like to make in my teaching approach for the upcoming year?
What role did self-care play in maintaining my energy and enthusiasm as a teacher?
What aspects of my teaching brought me the most joy, and how can I incorporate more of that into my classes?
What three qualities or intentions do I want to infuse into my teaching in the coming year?
As a yoga teacher, the practice of reflection is not only a personal journey but an integral part of your role in guiding others on the path of self-discovery. Embrace the lessons of the past, celebrate your growth, and set intentions that align with your teaching philosophy.
May this reflective process bring you renewed energy and inspiration for the year ahead, both on and off the mat.
Here’s to 2024!