A Little about My Approach to Teaching by Potts Jan 2012

My introduction to this vast world of yoga began at the age of 19 when I started learning meditation.  Now some 27 years later I am still learning and practicing. The secret that I have learnt about doing it right is that it takes practice, practice, more practice and even more patience and then there will be still a long way to go.  The fact is if you want to do yoga then you have to do it and heaps of it, because no-one else is going to do it for you.  My Spirtual teacher Babaji says many beautiful and mystical things, he is a self-realised yogi from India and he advocates the same thing.  Everyday – practice.  Then you may find some peace and lead a beautiful life.

When I started Physical yoga in 1994 I was so stiff I couldn’t even touch my toes.  My core strength was non-existent and my back was like an old man’s.  My long time Astanga Yoga teacher Dena Kingsburg used to say I was as stiff as a surfboard.  Since then I have move through Primary, Intermediate and entered into the Advanced Series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.  This requires ballet  type flexibility, enormous strength and focus.  This has been no easy stroll in the park for me and I have encountered many obstacles and problems along the way.  Working through problem areas in the body/mind in a gentle way has been the best teacher for me.  From this experience I am able to pass on knowledge to students working through difficulties.  Everything changes, without doubt.

I encourage all my students to take responsibility of their yoga practice.  As I said earlier, only you can do it.  No matter how good your teacher is, he or she can’t do it for you.  I have been fortunate to have encountered many great and respected teachers including Dena Kingsburg, Graeme Northfield, Monica Gauci, Gregor Maleh, Simon Borg Oliver and Pattabih Jois.  A good teacher  illuminates the path forward.  You are the one taking the steps.

In order to steady the mind or to be in the present moment one needs to let go of the past and future stories in the mind.  Sounds straight forward enough but many students ambitious minds quickly pull them out of the present.  I like to encourage students to apply effort but to detach from the outcome of success or failure in and out of the yoga shala.  This will help with peace and contentment in all things including yoga postures.

It is this approach that I take to my teaching. I hope to empower my students to develop their own practice.  This summer, I am looking forward to have opportunity to share what I have learnt with students without the constraints of a busy class.  I look forward to seeing you soon.

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