"Self study is the best teacher. If you truly dedicate yourself to your practice both on and off the mat, you notice that change happens quickly." - Rahoul Masrani, Yoga Teacher
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Yoga teacher (and new father), Rahoul Masrani talks to Lots of Yoga about teaching, what inspires him and the importance of sticking to your practice, both on and off the mat.
How did you discover yoga and why did you become a yoga teacher?
I started practising yoga to try and heal my injured back. I thought it would be a bit of stretching and some breathing exercises. Instead I found myself sweating and being challenged in more ways than I ever thought imaginable!
How did you decide to be a yoga teacher and what path did you take?
I decided to train to become a yoga teacher simply to deepen my own practice. Once I experienced teaching for the first time on my teacher training course, I was hooked.
How did you start out as a teacher and go about getting clients/students?
I started out by covering as much as possible to gain experience. Things developed from there, with word of mouth becoming the most useful tool in getting students into my classes.
Did you face any difficulties and what advice would you give to teachers just starting out facing difficulties?
My transition into yoga teaching was relatively quick, but it can take time. Be patient but be active in your yoga community. Cover as many classes as you can and ‘put yourself out there’. This may not be financially rewarding in the beginning, but over time you will pick up a few classes at least. Always teach classes that are authentic to you and from the heart.
Who/what inspires you?
Life in general inspires me. Everyone from the bus driver to my students to the corporate CEO. Everyone has a story. Becoming aware of this fact stimulates our sense of compassion, affording us the ability to see beyond people’s societal roles. When we better understand people, we are more able to connect. It’s highly empowering.
Are there days you don’t feel as motivated for daily practice and, if yes, what do you do? What keeps you motivated for daily practice day after day?
Absolutely. It is completely normal to experience days when it is difficult to roll out our mats and practise yoga asana. What keeps me motivated is the knowledge that I will always, without fail, feel better probably during and definitely after my practice. The initial difficult stage is a momentary blip in the grand scheme of things. It is equally important to remind ourselves that yoga is a practice that extends beyond the mat. Life becomes your daily practice and the work we do on the mat helps us to lead fuller and more connected lives off the mat.
Is there anything you aspire to or are you all that you ever aspired to be? Where do you want to be 5 or 10 years from now?
I hope that I can continue to ‘spread the yoga love’ by letting yoga touch more and more lives. As a yoga teacher and practitioner I of course always try to focus on the present moment but I do see myself continuing to teach yoga as much as I can.
Do you personal study or take annual courses? Do you have a guru/personal teacher?
Because of the work I do at YogaLondon
, I rarely find the time to take annual courses. I truly believe that self study is the best teacher. You discover so much through an internal focus and by cultivating an internal gaze. If you truly dedicate yourself to your practice (both on and off the mat), you notice that change happens quickly. I have a mentor for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration.
What are your favourite yoga related books?
Sticking to the classics has kept me grounded and focussed. No book has ever given me more inspiration than Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras
. In this book I have found the (direct or indirect) answer to every question I have had. I have also been hugely inspired by BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga
and Light on Life
Find out more about Rahoul at justdoyoga.co.uk.