by Rutu Chaudhari
Who do you listen to? Have you ever asked yourself that? Because the teachers/mentors/coaches you listen to effect how you progress in your craft.
We are influenced by the people we surround ourselves with, especially those we call teachers. I think it is one of the most important questions a student asks his/herself. How do I know that the person I am listening to is an appropriate guide for me? What qualities matter to me in the person I seek teachings from? Two qualities are worth consideration:
1. Listen to people who have what you want.
This one seems like a no brainer. If I want to be a great yoga teacher, obviously I want to study with the top teachers in the field. So what does a great teacher have that I want? When I first began studying with Aadil, his knowledge base is what struck me. It satisfied my mind so completely. He is brilliant. Along with a deep understanding of the yogic practices, anatomy and philosophy, he’s studied law, physics, naturopathy, Ayurveda, operatic singing, flower arrangement, he’s a lover of poetry, he’s a public speaker…There are many surface reasons that one would want to study with Aadil. He appeases the insatiable need of the mind to gather new information. That turned into an understanding that a good teacher is always learning, always studying.
As long as I’ve known Aadil, he is seeking out the best teachers in the field he is studying at the time. He always has mentors and he’s always a student. I’ve met teachers who stop studying after they receive their 200 hour certification, so it’s refreshing to work with someone that has that urge and willingness to a grow as a constant aspiration 35 years into teaching.
And that leads me to what this quality suggests. Integrity. If you want to be a good teacher, you must be a good student. Integrity. This has always been very important to me. I aspire for integrity in my teaching and life.
What is integrity?
Aadil describes integrity as alignment-an "alignment of my thoughts and beliefs with my words and actions." As a teacher it means that I only teach what I practice. And at our studio we teach that ‘all life is yoga’. To have integrity in yoga is to have integrity in life, in everything. This sort of alignment is the essence of why I do yoga. To be sincere, to be authentic is the aim of yoga. Fortunately I have teachers to support me along the way. Learning from teachers that have what you want only accelerates the process. It’s the fastest way to evolve.
Check back soon for the next chapter of Rutu's journey.
Rutu Chaudhari is a certified Purna Yoga teacher who holds a 2,000-hour certification. Rutu assists teacher trainings, yoga workshops and conferences with Aadil Palkhivala. She is the Director of the College of Purna Yoga in Atlanta and conducts teacher trainings at her thriving studio, All Life is Yoga.
Rutu is a shining example of the discipline and love for yoga. She sincerely lives her yoga and her radiance and light shine from the inside out. Rutu offers an abounding knowledge of alignment and anatomy, meditation, practical application of yogic philosophy and nutrition and lifestyle from Ayurveda, Chinese and Western traditions. She is also a leading teacher of yoga therapeutics.
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