What is a spiritual leader?
A yoga teacher who goes above and beyond to guide and support people through their spiritual growth and progress by counseling them with a variety of mystical, psychological, and spiritual tools is a spiritual leader. We as yoga teachers are primely poised to guide people in this endeavor.
To give you some historical context, the industrial revolution changed the landscape of how people come together, seek counsel, and develop personal beliefs. We began a love affair with all things science and industry. During this time people moved away from their native mythology and religious practices. This was also the birth of psychology which gained popularity quickly as people were now in search of counselors to help them understand and solve their problems…except that psychology focuses on the clinical aspects of the mind, leaving us bereft of soul-level answers.
Both Science and Psychology do not address spiritual problems, per se. Modern people feel this lack of spirituality, which we see commonly when our yoga students ask us about things beyond how to stretch hamstrings or alignment in triangle pose. A full 25% of the psyche is interested in mysticism and spirituality, which leaves us feeling disconnected if we do not already follow a faith or spiritual practice. The God-sized hole left by a lack of spiritual practice needs to be filled with something. For 30 million people yoga is the thing that fills that hole.
Yoga isn’t just Asana, people are not drawn to yoga for the physical workout. People feel more than just physical benefits from yoga classes. They continue to do yoga because they feel better mentally and emotionally. They feel better about their lives and are more resilient so the little things don’t bother them as much.
When we move forward in a direction, because not just our body or our mind thinks we should, but our spirit thinks we should as well, we feel a sense of awe and ease, and we are more in alignment with our soul’s purpose.
You know that your students want more from you than just asana because they are asking you questions like: What should I do in my relationship? What am I meant to do?
How can you step into your role as a spiritual leader?
You need a lot of knowledge. Luckily, I’m here to help 😀
The standard 200-hours teacher training is not going to equip you for the new role. You need to continue learning outside of your teacher training.
Long ago, there were mystery schools where acolytes learned to become priests and priestesses. They were called mystery schools because much of what was taught was a mystery except to those in them. We know they included physical practices, astrology, one-on-one counseling, healing techniques, chanting and musical traditions and methods of divination.
Mystery Schools – in the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian cultures – trained acolytes to become priests and priestesses that held the contemporary spiritual wisdom and supported people on their spiritual path.
Mythology and spirituality governed every aspect of the lives of ancient mystics. Physical practices, Astrology, counseling (one-on-one), healing techniques, chanting and musical traditions, methods of divination (tarot), were all utilized as ways to support individuals and society.
We can draw upon many of these same practices to help our current students. For example, we can use astrology, chakra therapeutics, and tarot to help our students find the answer to their most burning questions.
I have been using and teaching all of these tools with my students for years. All of these teachings are featured in my Modern Mystics Academy which gives you 150 hours of higher education for spirituality.
This episode is brought to you by the School for Mystics. Try out the School for Mystics for only a $1 right now!