Do you ever stop to think what makes yoga so popular? If you’re a teacher, it’s a great question to ask because you can then provide what students want.
Styles of yoga seem to hold appeal according to your age or stage of life. Hot, sweaty, music-fuelled yoga might suit a younger demographic… slower-paced, prop-supported for the older crowd, perhaps.
A friend of mine has a theory that yoga teachers attract students who are close to their age – specifically in a bracket of 10 years younger and 10 years older. I don’t know if that’s true. One of my favourite and receptive students has been young Alistair, age 8. I love the chance to teach any and all teen-agers who come along to class.
Today I had the privilege to be a guest teacher at a retreat organised by Alexa Nehter. She’s a rather remarkable young woman who has a holistic approach to teaching yoga around Forster, New South Wales.
Why her students love her, and by extension love doing yoga with her, is because she’s serving up the whole meal: postures, breathing, meditation and philosophy. That means people go away deeply satisfied because nothing is missing.
Ultimately, if people hang around yoga long enough, they dive below the surface. Perhaps they came for certain reasons and discovered there was more than they ever imagined.
I’m glad yoga and yoga teaching are popular and people are hungry for what’s on offer. The demand for it keeps me honest and extends me as a teacher and practitioner. It demands that I keep in touch with the depths from which yoga springs.