header image credit: Ian Schneider
I remember when I first started teaching Kundalini Yoga in the Northeast, there was no Kundalini Yoga around for miles, sure people had tried, but it never took off. I had a blank canvas to paint radiant white! And it was sweet.
During my level one teacher training Hari Har Ji spoke about the ethics when starting classes where other people already teach, and how it’s always respectful to reach out to them first. She also mentioned how our students may also want to grow and do teacher training. At this stage I hadn’t even considered teaching myself!
Sure enough about six months after i began my own classes, my students did indeed love the practice so much so that they too wanted to train, and soon other teachers started to pop up around the area and gather momentum.
I admit, initially I felt the pang of insecurity.
I wonder, do we all, at some point, feel this as a new teacher? Have you asked yourself will they be better than me? Will I lose students? Could I fail? Will I be good enough?
This fearful voice is the underlying driver of what the teachings call the ‘3 enemies”: comparing, competing and complaining. The moment we get hooked into any of these 3 C’s, we become disempowered.
As time went on and I grew into my practice and confidence in teaching, as I discovered – and strengthened my own unique gifts and style. What others were doing ceased to matter to me anymore. I taught what inspired me to awaken souls. If some souls didn’t attend class maybe they weren’t ready for the message or I wasn’t the right teacher for them, or perhaps Kundalini Yoga was not what they needed. And I asked myself what were my reasons for teaching, feeling that this would come through in the frequency of my teaching.
I now share and teach in a way that is authentic to me, and if this resonates with others that’s a bonus. As I have matured, and embodied the teachings I am ableto put my own ego to one side, in order to serve the soul in the other. I now experience a true sense of what it means to be the folk lift. My ability to do this has strengthened because of the deep trust I have cultivated in God, who acts as the folk lift for me. The feeling of insufficiency has been replaced with abundance; the teachings talk about building community not territory, there is enough space for everyone.
A story that helped me along the way was something I heard about when Che Guevara was captured and was at the point of being executed. As he knelt to his knees, looking down the barrel of a gun and to his executor standing before him, he saw that the man’s hand was quivering and reluctant to press the trigger. “Shoot me you coward,” said Guevara. “I am just a man. The idea lives on”.
I like to think that we are all part of this evolution of consciousness, spreading light in our own way. So if you get worried about someone just starting a class near you or losing students remember what matters is ‘the idea lives on’. Keep on doing your own work to integrate teachings as part of you. It’s always a beautiful experience to collaborate with other teachers, learn and inspire one another. Our qualities and gifts can compliment each other, and that my friend, can make you a force to be reckoned with on this quest to spread light.