Fourteen yoga teachers from DC, Maryland and Virginia gathered at the Edgewood Arts Center on Sunday, September 30, 2018 to unpack the power of teacher’s seat — a huge agenda for a two hour workshop, but given the tenor of the times in our city, a necessary task for anyone who is serious about helping students tap into their own power and transform our world with love and compassion.
Ajit Joshi led the group in a movement and naming exercise to break the ice. We then settled into drawing our concept of power and took a gallery walk as each teacher unpacked the concept of power with color, symbol and story. Along the way down the gallery, we explored the physical, emotional and intellectual influence we have as teachers in our classrooms and the ways in which this influence can color a student’s experience.
A concluding exercise was to choose a positive expression of “teacher seat” and form an ongoing accountability group around it. Participants were asked to discuss where they were now in their expression of this value, how they wanted to grow in their teaching, and how to be accountable to one another in this group. The three expressions to choose from came from a long and vetted list of ethics and values from Ajit’s lineage, Parayoga. These were:
Love of Life: I embrace the inherent value of inclusiveness. My appreciation of the differences in people and in traditions is an expression of love and the culmination of wisdom.
Guardianship: Informed by my evaulation as a spiritual adept, and my commitment to serve, my ethical behavior inside and outside the classroom is the ultimate guardianship of these teachings to the world at large.
Self Mastery: I balance my role as a leader with elevating those whom I lead so that they may evolve their own self mastery.
As the group concluded, we all shared our appreciation for Ajit’s teaching and for the joy of a community of teachers brought together for deep conversation and sharing.