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« Honoring Others with Your Yoga Practice | Main | Undefined: The Beauty of the In Between »

September 14, 2011


Elise Fabricant

Thanks for this inspirational post. I will send it on to my teachers (at and have no doubt it will provoke some useful discussion about how to better ourselves as teachers!

J. Brown

Another thoughtful post, greatly appreciated. Unlike other philosophical modalities, yoga is not an academic pursuit. The only real testament of a practice is the person it produces. The test of a teacher is to be an example of that which is espoused.

I do take an issue with the final tenant you put forth:

"The relationship is yoga – not friendship, not business partner, not love relationship, must maintain hierarchy so that you keep authority, friendly but not friends."

I strongly disagree with the notion that yoga teachers must maintain a hierarchy in order to be authoritative. One of my good friends and teachers always says that a yoga teacher is "nothing more than a friend and nothing less than a friend."

My teaching is based in friendship. My first students were my best friends and my best students always become the same. I can assert myself as the teacher and be authoritative without a hierarchy. Just as someone would seek the council and advice of a good friend who is informed in matters pertaining to them, so someone receives yoga teaching. In fact, I have found that without friendship, little yoga happens.

Also, I met my wife of 5 years now in my yoga class. The friendship that formed in the context of our yoga together also became the basis for our life partnership (we have a two year old daughter.)

Providing valuable instruction and guidance in yoga is impeded by anonymity. Yoga practice is not about poses but people doing poses. The actuality of who we are (both teachers and students) is utterly relevant.

J. Brown

John Calabria

Great post Diane,

As a seasoned teacher, I do my best to walk my talk. and I encourage others to walk theirs, not mine.

I've found myself drifting further from lineage and more towards Swadyaya (self study) as to what is the next step on the path.

At times it feels uphill, a downhill coast, and absolute bushwhacking through the tangle of Avidya. (ignorance) But I do my best to stay true to intention and try to keep the intention true.

Daily I celebrate that there's no hurry, there's really no where to go, and there's great freedom in that. What matters is the next step is true.

yes, there is much misbehavior in our Yoga world, and there are also some bright lights. We've got to look behind/beyond the hype.

All my best,


Crystal Wagner

Yes, the Karl Menninger quote caught my attention from the start! So true! Thank you for sharing your viewpoints from both sides, student and teacher. I have recently been considering becoming certified but have a physical disability. Your article has encouraged me and shown what's truly important in this field. Thank you

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