A Good Teacher is a Good Student

Every year, Anusara Yoga certified teachers renew their certification by having a colleague take their class. It is a wonderful way of affirming what is good in one another's teaching, and a wonderful way to give and receive support. It is also a way to improve our teaching skills.

Yesterday, I had the honor to do this process for my own teacher, who is truly a master of her craft, and who has taught legions of yoga students for decades. But besides being a Master Teacher, Suzie Hurley, the owner of Willow Street Yoga Center, where I have taken my own yoga classes for several years, is the consummate student, and this to me, is the sign of a good teacher. She and I sat side by side in my previous teacher's class for a long time. And, I have been with her as she has taken many workshops, including some as a "beginner," even when some of her own teachers were apprenticing that particular workshop.

A teacher must always be willing to take classes with a beginner's mind. This denotes humility - which is such an important characteristic for a teacher to have.

Yesterday, as I waited for class to begin, I heard another teacher discuss with her student how much she enjoys taking beginner level classes, because it enriches her understanding of the practice. I nodded, agreeing. I often feel I receive so much insight when I take classes that are the same level as my students. I gain a fresh perspective into their own possible experiences.

A true teacher knows that her - or his learning never ends. As we playfully went through a creative flow of poses, I found myself smiling - not only because the class was fun and light-hearted, but because I was so lucky to study in the midst of so many wonderful teachers who are all consummate students!

In two weeks, I will have the opportunity to be on the receiving end of this process, and I look forward to having a master give me feedback!

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