There are some Yoga teachers who refuse to teach beginner students. Their staff teaches new students, while they work with the “advanced” Yoga students, or they teach specialized master classes. It is understandable that if you run an extremely large ashram or studio, with hundreds of students, it may be difficult to bond with every new student who comes through your doors.
I know one Yoga teacher who has a strict policy regarding students. They must attend classes in her school for two years before she will grace them with her presence. This also includes making an appointment for admission to her office. As a result, most of her students have never met her, but they have the privilege of saying they attend her school.
On the other hand, a very different Yoga teacher, with an ashram, and an International following, makes time to meet every student who participates in activities within her ashram. She travels abroad to teach, but her beginner students have all met her, in or out of, classes.
Humility is a quality all of us should have. False pride can easily possess anyone who has success and prosperity. It happens to Holy men, who forget that people visit Holy grounds to worship a higher power. Sometimes, the Holy man begins to believe that participants are worshiping him. False pride has created poor political leaders, who forget they represent the interests of the people who elect them.
Beside humility, there are other reasons to spend quality time with beginner Yoga students. Beginners require extra attention; and that makes us think, which ultimately makes each of us better teachers. No two beginners are alike. We could profile similarities in our minds, but there are many differences in the body and mind of a new Yoga practitioner.
When we work with new students, who have unique problems, or less than ideal conditions, we learn and they learn from us. If we work with experienced Yoga students who never need help, modifications, or adjustments, our teachings have reached a “dead end.” They do not learn anything new from us, and we do not polish our skills.
When we reach a point where we cannot accept new ideas, or learn new methods to help students, we become “set in our ways.” There is a saying, “You can’t teach an old dog, new tricks.” As time goes by, some of us become rigid in our thinking. Worse yet, rigid thinkers rarely work toward improving anything. Rigid thought requires us to deny change and to repeat the same mistakes.
Therefore, enjoy teaching Yoga classes for new students. The energy and interest, within new students, is like a breath of fresh air. It will keep your mind young and your thoughts clear.