Mentoring through Yoga Australia
What is mentoring and why do we need it?
“Mentoring” is a modern word that describes an integral part of the tradition of yoga throughout history. It includes the guidance given between teacher and trainee or student, as well as the ongoing professional and personal guidance necessary for all yoga teachers, at all levels of seniority and experience, as part of the continuing journey of yoga.
At Yoga Australia, we acknowledge that the discipline and pathway of yoga in our modern society are rapidly evolving. Yoga teachers across all traditions, and in all walks of life, are faced with a variety of challenges and opportunities to learn daily.
Negotiating these complex times as a solo teacher can sometimes be extremely daunting. Engaging a mentor can mean the difference between advancing in your skills at a halting pace, to accelerating smoothly into your growing presence as a yoga teacher, instilling confidence and enjoyment in this vocation.
A mentor also gives the backdrop of an accountability partner, inspiring you to continue to develop your own practice, to find balance in your teaching, and to take care of yourself as a yoga teacher. A mentor is a living resource helping you to find your own unique way forward. We all benefit from somebody to lean on!
“Mentors don’t lead the way. They help you find your direction.”
Styles of Mentoring
Yoga Australia supports a range of mentoring opportunities from informal to formal. This can be one to one, group, occasional or ongoing. Mentoring can be skills/curriculum-based or support inner reflection and spiritual growth and all shades in between.
In some circumstances mentoring is required or strongly recommended to help teachers meet external criteria in training or in upgrading their membership level. The main areas where this ‘curriculum-based mentoring’ is used are:
- Mentoring in Teacher Training Courses for courses running less than 6 months.
- Support teachers in upgrading their membership
Yoga Australia offers a register of yoga professionals who provide mentoring services to assist members in refining their teaching skills, meeting professional development requirements, and upgrading their membership.
A list of current Yoga Australia registered mentors is available by contacting [email protected]u
Teachers in the yoga community often find support, advice, inspiration, and opportunities for reflection through informal interactions with each other. Yoga Australia facilitates these informal mentoring opportunities through state events, members circles, workshops, and forums, where teachers of all levels can connect and learn from one another.
A list of upcoming events can be found here.
“Ask for help and guidance. Experience is often hard-earned but easily shared.”
Are you interested in becoming a Mentor?
A mentor is an experienced yoga teacher and practitioner with well-developed knowledge and embodied experience of yoga and the capacity and willingness to offer guidance to other yoga teachers.
Registered mentors are senior registered teachers with Yoga Australia and have many of the following key skills, qualities, training:
- As senior teachers registered with Yoga Australia, all registered mentors have completed a minimum of 1000 hours of yoga teacher training and have been teaching for at least 10 years. Some have areas of specialisation.
- Mentors aspire to embody the teachings of yoga in life. Mentors may or may not come from the same tradition/training as the mentee.
- Well-developed communication and listening skills which include the ability to provide clear, non-judgmental feedback, and support processes that encourage deeper self-inquiry and reflection on issues arising in teaching.
- Natural respect and honouring of others, creating and holding trust and a safe space for the mentee. A mentor meets the mentee where they are and supports them to discover their own form of teaching and yogic journey.
- Familiarity of the nature of the mentor-mentee relationship, through having been mentored themselves.
For more information on becoming a Yoga Australia registered mentor, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Is Mentoring for me?
Mentees can be either new or experienced teachers who are looking to extend and reinforce their confidence and proficiency in various aspects of yoga or teaching. There may be a specific need to fill gaps in training, an intention to embark on a specialisation or a general seeking for guidance and a safe space for reflection on their teaching or yogic journey.
Both mentees and mentors have a responsibility to ensure that their discussions are respectful, ensure confidentiality and uphold the Yoga Australia Ethical Guidelines. All mentoring relationships are guided by the Yoga Australia’s Guiding Principles which can be found here.
To view a list of current Yoga Australia registered mentors, contact [email protected]