How to find your Yoga Teacher?
It is necessary to make distinction between the concept of yoga Teacher, a person who is giving yoga theoretical material and the yoga instructor. The concept of Teachers in yoga is very high, similar to the concept of the Master of Life and should always be written with a capital letter. Sometimes it may be the opposite too when the person who is the highest teacher of yoga for one, will not be the same for somebody else. There can be various Yoga Teachers for different people. Teachers might not wish to meet with you if they can not help you. It may be inappropriate to come and to look at the Teacher, especially when the Teacher is involved in important work for the favor of millions of living beings. The Teacher is not a clown at the circus, who entertains curious people. There are Teachers who don’t like the public life, and they communicate only with the time-tested students. The new students are accepted no earlier than they have been tested and trained by the former students of this Teacher. You see, it is not so easy to help somebody regarding this issue. Anyway, yoga teaches us to search for the Teacher constantly, and to be keen to explore challenges.
Where can I find a yoga Master or a yoga instructor for myself?
It is a great success in life to find a Yoga Master. The Master - is a mirror in which you can see your Supreme Self and reach a peak in yoga very quickly. Some people spend many years of their life traveling to find the Yoga Master, Guru. However, it is not enough to find the Master, you have to recognize that this person is a Yoga Master, breaking all negative mind tendencies and feelings. But, this is not enough, either. It is necessary for the Master to pay attention to you and to start teaching you. Moreover, before meeting the Teacher you have to do a lot work yourself on your self-exploration.
Yoga Masters hold the second principle of yoga sacred and spend their time primarily for the trained people who will be able to deliver the highest yoga knowledge to many other people in the future. Finally, if the Master agrees to teach somebody, a student has to follow all of the Master’s recommendations unconditionally. However, not everyone is ready to overcome their pride and arrogant character. It is not easy to work on yourself without expecting a reward or recognition.
Naturally you will become connected with your Master as the Master will become the closest person to you - you feel love and attraction towards the Master. Unfortunately, there are only few people in the world who are ready to meet with the Master and understand the important role of the Yoga Master. Therefore, some Yoga Masters prefer to keep their life private. If you meet the Master on the street you might have never guess who is this person. The Master can live close to your neighborhood , and you might even not notice that this person is practicing yoga. So in yoga it is recommended not to wait until you find your Master but immediately to start preparing for meeting with the Master. There is a saying: „When the student is ready the Teacher will be there."
A yoga instructor will be the person who will prepare you for a meeting with the Yoga Master. A yoga teacher shall disclose the theory and the yoga practices, so you can work on yourself successfully. If you get lucky to meet with the Master in the future, you’ll be able to recognize the Master and won’t just pass by as it sometimes happens. The Yoga teacher will introduce you to the yoga philosophy and to different sections of yoga. This person will answer many of your questions about your personal yoga practice. He/she will certainly introduce you to people like you willing to work and working on self-exploration and searching of the Supreme Self. But a yoga teacher would never claim to be the Teacher, Master or Guru.
Sometimes a person can find and recognize the Yoga Master, but the Master would send a student to the yoga teacher for all preliminary practices. It's much easier to find an ordinary yoga teacher than a Yoga Master. As a rule, yoga teachers are available. The main goal of a yoga teacher is to help people in gaining basic knowledge on the yoga theory and yoga practice and make sure their yoga practice is successful. A yoga teacher will answer many of your questions, but you should not expect him/her to give you the universal prescriptions for your life or solutions for your domestic home problems. Such topics are rather the prerogative of your personal Yoga Teacher. The role of the ordinary yoga teacher is more modest.
Often yoga teachers might not have time for regular ordinary yoga classes as he/she lectures, gives theoretical seminars and does all the work for distributing the yoga knowledge, and it takes most of their time. And this is when you can get help from yoga instructors.
The main task of the yoga instructor is giving regular yoga classes for all who want to practice yoga. Sometimes a person comes to yoga only to use the benefits of yoga practice and does not want to study the yoga theory. This task can be perfectly solved by the yoga instructor. A yoga instructor must have a through and through knowledge of the yoga section that is offered by him/her practically. Also this person should be able to answer all the questions about every asana that is given. The instructor should know the common areas of the yoga theory, but it is not the task of yoga instructor to explain complex theoretical questions. It is easier to find a competent yoga instructor than to find a yoga teacher.
Thus, entire yoga is subordinated to common sense and efficiency principles. If you make first steps in yoga, you need to look for a yoga instructor who could help you to understand if you are interested to study entire yoga or if you need only yoga exercises. If you are attracted to the higher yoga sections, you need a teacher who will give you an insight into them. But if you want to solve the problems of essence or final spiritual realization, you need your own Yoga Teacher, Yoga Master or Guru.
The International Open Yoga University will help you to find yoga instructors and teachers, but if you wish to find the greatest yoga Teachers (Masters) you will have to search for them yourself, as nobody can help you to do this.
I don't want to learn from yoga instructors and trainers, I want to learn from yoga Teachers, who taught the first ones in order to receive yoga from the first hands. Where can I find the names and addresses of the Teachers, where do they live?
To answer this question, first of all let's define the term Teacher. The concept of the Teacher is very high and hard to understand for the Western mentality. The topic of the Teacher is very delicate. Only you will be able to recognize your Teacher using your intuition and feelings of the deep kinship to this person. Your Teacher can be very well educated and or may not have any degrees and regalia. It can be an internationally known person or an absolute stranger. In any case, that person will be your Teacher if you feel it and recognize the Teacher. TIt will not matter if he/she is not a Teacher of yoga for other people. All your doubts will disappear and you will just know it. Through the Teacher you will feel the breath of the entire Universe.
Thus, it may happen that the instructors and people related to yoga will take you to your Master, but it will seem to you that it is an ordinary person, because you haven't gone through a long practice of sharpening your senses and spiritual intuition and will not be able to reject all stereotypes in thinking and the myths surrounding yoga. Many Westerner people sincerely believe that the Teacher should wear a turban, have a beard and say strange profound phrases. But in modern life the yoga Teachers would not waste their time or effort and strengths for this masquerade as this is very impractical and troublesome to play along with myths and stereotypes. There is no guarantee that you will receive the advantage, if you ignore the instructors and the trainers. Moreover, there is only a step between love and hate for modern people. Very often there are situations, when people first praise yoga, and then, not fulfilling their expectations immediately, get disappointed in yoga and begin to criticize everyone and everything, including those Teachers in which they didn't recognize Teachers due to their bad karma.
The next thing to remember is that the Teacher may not wish to teach you the things that you can learn from others. Firstly, the task of the Teacher or Master to do that cannot be done by neither instructors, nor the teacher. Indeed, we will not expect that a Professor of mathematics would teach kids elementary math, if it can be done by preschool teacher. This is called the second principle of yoga - the principle of common sense and efficiency in their work.
Finally, there are Teachers who lead an itinerant life. They rarely stop at one place for a period longer than is necessary for doing their work. Even the closest disciples sometimes may not know where at the moment their Teacher is. The Teacher is not obliged to report on every step. The Teacher is a free person just like us and nobody can make this person to give detailed information about his/her intentions? In addition, the Teacher may wander without limiting oneself to countries of East or Asia. This may be the whole world, including those locations for which it is problematic to determine the address. So nobody will be able to give you the address even if they wanted to. Sometimes the Teacher can travel incognito. I can only advise the following: with the certain periodicity some Teachers can attend the same place. If you know this place and stay there, then you have a chance to meet with the Teacher.