Ethics for Yoga teachers
Yoga teachers should live what they teach. Yoga is to be expressed in their behavior (principles of Yama), their way of life (Niyama – yogic life style), their body, breath and mind. Yoga teachers should never criticize. The ego looks for what to criticize. The ego searches for shortcomings and weaknesses. Love watches for any sign of strength. Have patience and tolerance. Focus only on positive, uplifting and life-supporting. By appreciating only the good qualities in ourselves and others and overlooking the shortcomings and mistakes, all other positive qualities grow as well. Never let your ego come on the forefront. The Yoga teacher is not in the position to criticize anything, but in the position to adore everything. Under all circumstances it is necessary to have a loving, kind, and sympathetic heart. Our outward behavior should be based on that principle. Love everything, encourage everyone. We create a quality of life in the atmosphere according to the quality of our hearts. Be careful not to think bad because that brings mud on our hearts and we have to wash it off. Yoga teacher should be simple, natural and kind. Naturalness is the basis of effectiveness. If one poses to be something else, one losses the charm of naturalness. The result is that one accumulates stress.
If one is in a position of authority one should practice what one preaches. One must become a model to others. The following story illustrates this principle: “A mother took her son to see a Master to cure him of the habit of eating sweets. The master told them to return after a month. They waited for this time and then went back to the Master. He said they must come back after two months. This they did and were told to come back after another four months. On the next visit, they were told eight months. When they returned after eight months, the Master said to the boy: ‘Do not eat sweets’. The mother and the boy went home, and soon the parents could see that the boy was not eating any sweets, but storing them in a cupboard in his room. Any money he was given was also saved up. The parents could not understand the change that had occurred and went to see the Master. They asked him why he had waited so long before advising the boy. He replied that when they had first come to him, he, too, used to eat sweets. After a month he had given them up, but he still had a nagging desire to eat them. Not until this had been completely overcome, did his mind become so clean, that simply by telling the boy not to eat sweets, he could influence the boy's mind in the same way.”