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Laurie Gerber

Laurie Gerber

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Open Letter to Yoga Teachers and Fitness Instructors

Posted: 06/ 7/11 06:20 PM ET

Newsflash: the world needs you! The shared disillusion is palpable, as people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the limitations of organized religion. Be it in the wee hours of the morning, or with the culmination of every busy work day, they are increasingly turning to you for a sense of spiritual guidance and emotional uplift. Are you up for it?

As of late, I have found myself marveling at Patricia Moreno, founder of SatiLife, a revolutionary heart-mind-body practice. The positive energy she manifests is a direct product of the fact that she loves what she does, and boy, does it show! Her classes are consistently sold out, her students hailing her as their equal for talking "to" them, as opposed to "at" them. I praise her because she candidly shares her journey with us, openly admitting to and facing her fears, inviting us to push past our self-imposed limits. I am so grateful to Patricia for pushing the boundaries of what is possible at the gym, by seamlessly combining a great workout with personal and spiritual growth work, not to mention community connection.

Patricia and many other visionaries, such as Elena Brower and Bernadette Birney accomplished something very special despite publicly putting themselves through the ringer. Patricia, Elena, Bernadette, your work began with a vision, a dream of one day being able to speak a truth so powerful, people would bask in its light. That insight led you to wrestle with your own integrity, as you attempted to ''walk your walk'' and ''talk your talk." I commend you for having had the guts put out something different, knowing that although some would reject it, there was a chance many others wouldn't. These amazing women took and gave so much to the Handel Method®, I felt it only fair to share their work, in the hope of inspiring many more followers of this enlightened practice.

For those of you who feel like complete frauds because you are teaching something you are not adhering to, it should come as no surprise that you feel neither powerful nor content in front of your classes! The truth is, you don't have to be perfect to lead. In fact, it would be a problem if you were, or even thought you were. The world desperately needs you to face up to your shortcomings, even if it involves admitting that although you dream of making a difference in the world, you still want your classes filled.

  1. First and foremost, be honest with yourself. Own up to your shortcomings. In which contexts are you preaching one thing and not behaving accordingly? Are you selling out on your ideals? Take it upon yourself to actively start changing.
  2. Tell on yourself, for better or worse. Your new promise to change won't likely keep itself unless you feel accountable. How convenient to be faced with an audience you can be honest and open towards -- your students! Invite them on this journey.
  3. Be with your students, but also keep pace ahead. Understand that although you and your students are equals you were chosen by them to lead. Similarly, be sure to have a mentor or coach who you admire, so that you may also be reminded of the humbling power and influence of a wise teacher.
  4. Accept that fear will always be part of the game. I can personally attest that Patricia feels quite frequently afraid. In many classes she was met with blank stares as she has shouted affirmations into the wind and talked about the mind-body connection. She didn't let it stop her, and neither should you!

With love and appreciation for who you already are and for the commitment it took to look to yourselves to understand this letter,

Laurie

This letter has turned into a petition. I await your pledge to up your game as a teacher and a leader. Add your name in the comment box, along with the first goal you have set out for yourself. I'll be responding.

 

Follow Laurie Gerber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HGLifeCoaching