What does mentoring look like?  

Being mentored was not what I expected at all. My last mentor snuck up on me quietly and became a mentor before I even knew what was happening! 

Morag and I teach yoga in the same area and she reached out many years ago to invite me to a workshop. She had a lifetime of experience compared to me as I had only been teaching for around 6 years. Our friendship grew from here into coffee dates, long discussions on all things yoga and attending each other’s workshops. We still catch up regularly and she is often my first sounding board when I need advice or am feeling unsettled. Sometimes this will be related to my yoga practice but often my personal life too (it’s ALL yoga really anyway!). She has been a hand to hold to gently guide me on what is essentially my own yoga journey but with the lovely company along the way. 

I’ve been both mentor and mentee several times over, formally and informally. As a mentee, these beautiful, enriching relationships have seen me through times where I’ve felt lost, disillusioned or apathetic. I think the idea that once we are on the yogic path everything will somehow just fall into place and work out perfectly is an idealistic myth. You will need help at some point! 

Mentoring others has been a rewarding experience filled with unexpected opportunities for growth and cross-pollination. Some of my mentees have given me a new perspective on long-held beliefs or ideas whilst I’ve helped fill gaps in their own knowledge. It’s a symbiotic relationship that can take many forms. 

I’ve practised yoga for over 30 years and taught for almost 20. It really doesn’t matter how experienced you are, we all need support, guidance or a friendly ear from time to time. Reaching out to find it is the first step. I can’t imagine where I’d be now without the help of my mentors, thank you all. 

To find out more about Yoga Australia’s mentoring program visit: https://www.yogaaustralia.org.au/mentoring-through-yoga-australia/ 

By Charles Hickey,
Yoga Australia Member