The ideal student is the conscious one--one who knows the basic components of their practice and can sense when "something's missing." Let's educate our trainees to take a cross-training approach to their spiritual practice so they can know what needs adjustment when something feels dry or uninteresting.
Feeling extremely run down with new work demands? It may not be optimal to engage in a highly physically demanding embodiment practice. Don't feel entirely safe doing emotional work with your current yoga instructor? Seek out a therapist that you love and simply enjoy what the yoga teacher does have to offer. Did you just make an enormous break-through and can't stand the idea of facing another difficult wave? Perhaps there is a gratitude practice that can help you stabilize your new perspective and integrate the changes you have made.
Often a student may "throw the baby out with the bathwater" when actually what's needed is more refinement or differentiation in their practice or perspective. If we ask too much from a single source, often the source seems to go sour. When we ask our yoga instructor to be our best friend, our therapist, our role model, and a nutrition expert, we're asking for mixed messages and trouble.
What we may need is a coach, a nutritionist, and a trainer, and what we ended up doing is leaving the teacher who was not everything to us. Let's teach our students and trainees that their practice is scalable. Let's teach them that they're not stuck with us--they may need to customize their practice while they're training for Olympic time trials or going through marriage counseling.
Let us be responsible teachers too! Let's tell our students what we are good at doing; we don't need anyone duped into thinking we're good at everything. By us declaring our strengths, we will likely connect with students who can best be served by our skill set. We may even inspire them to hunt for more granularity in their practice when they hear us say we're not
I'm always listening intently for signs of a trainee identifying what needs to be addressed in their practice and what components belong to their practice.
What are the core components of your practice?
Incubating practice and teaching ideas in written form here.