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The Guru

The Guru teacher is not quite a yoga star but is well on the way to becoming one. There are two ways that the Guru can achieve yoga star status: start his own yoga school or wait for the current yoga star to die. The first method is preferable, as the latter entails much maneuvering among the other Guru teachers to gain the mantle of being the new yoga star of the particular school. In such cases, the Gurus begin to quote the yoga star extensively, reminisce about how great the yoga star was, give dates and times they have studied with the yoga star, and even begin to pull out old photos of themselves taken with the yoga star at some nebulous time in the past or a previous incarnation.

So how do you recognize a Guru teacher? Actually, it’s quite simple because of the assorted assistants and fawning students gathered around him as he teaches the class. You might even notice a couple of groupies in the first row of mats. An important thing to be aware of if you are considering taking a class from a Guru teacher: the Guru doesn‘t teach the class—the assistants do. The purpose of the Guru is to simply draw as many students as possible into the yoga studio.

The Guru teacher maintains a tight rein on discipline. There will be no good times here, as the Guru is convinced that yoga is serious stuff. You will be told “I say, you do” (kind of like a game of “Simon Says”). You will be told to ask no questions. You are expected to simply submit to the Guru’s will and commands. If you have taken any yoga previously, you must forget everything you learned, as all prior yoga training is null and void.

The Guru teacher lives for the moment when a student is foolish enough to ask a question. When this happens, he stares at the student with a slight, devilish smile and a bit of glee. Students who have taken classes with the Guru before look back and forth at each other. They look at the teacher and back to the student in anticipation, as they know that the Guru is about to go in for the kill. The teacher will then remark sarcastically, “I say, you do! What part of that do you not understand?” You may hear giggling from the assistants and some of the students.

TIP: Avoid any yoga teacher that lacks a sense of humor and takes themselves or their yoga too seriously. It’s only yoga.


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