Teaching Yoga Mark Stephens

“If you want to learn something,” he says, “read it. If you want to know something, write it. If you want to MASTER something, Teach it!” (Bhajan).

The practice of yoga, as Carl Jung (1953, 529–530) wrote, “amounts to … a method of psychic hygiene.” This psychic cleansing dissolves what the traditional yogic view calls our samskaras: essentially, emotional knots formed in the subtle energetic body from one’s past and manifested in the physical body and the mind.

  • yoga is not a practice of attainment; it is an unending process of self-discovery and self-transformation.
  • remember that asanas are an expression of unique human beings, not an ideal or static form or “pose.”
  • being simultaneously focused and broadly aware—has tangible benefit in teaching.
  • remember that you are teaching yoga, not trying to get people into poses. Keep coming back to the principle of yoga as a practice of process, not of attainment.


…a “pose” is static, something a model does for a camera. Asanas, by contrast, are alive, in each moment a unique expression of the human being doing them 1)↓.

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1. This point is emphasized by Farhi (1999), who stresses that “each asana acts as a container for subtle and dynamic inner movement.”

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