It is advisable that a practitioner begins and develops his asanas practice under the keen and benevolent teaching of a trained teacher. The fact is that no books can replace a teacher. The teacher can at best supplement and complement the practitioner. There are people who attempt yoga teacher training from various sources, or then from the numerous self-learning books. However, while one can learn the asanas, one will not know if they are able to practice the poses correctly.
As every school of yoga would insist – no book can correct a practitioner; and no book can really pep up a practitioner; no book can substitute or replace the magical teaching and lessons of a yoga expert leading one though the flow of each yoga posture. The learning with a trained teacher is not just about corrections and improvisations while practicing asanas, but also the valuable knowledge and wisdom that is passed down to a student.
And for those being trained to become yoga teachers, these valuable snippets of knowledge and wisdom can only enrich an individual’s life. According to tradition, one was usually taught yoga by the Guru of a particular lineage, who primary objective was to ensure that his school of yogic practice is passed down through the ages.
There are romantic versions of how a Guru would present himself in front of his students. According to one version, the yoga trainer would have blazing eyes, which would convey a life changing flash of compassion. To go further, the Guru would be cloaked, hidden and disguised by a soft divine velvet, with the royal glitter of gold and bedazzling glow of silver of a Sat Guru, so that only a true divine disciple, has the strength, wisdom, richness and knowledge no to be taken in by such baubles; but to drink long, thirstily and deeply from the only place he has ever fulfilled a drop of his insatiable thirst – at the oceans paying eternal homage at his Guru’s feet and the millions of suns proclaiming His glories and crowning Him.
According to varied ancient texts, there is no substitute for the grace of a Guru and it is not limited by reasoning or logic. The grace makes the journey easier by gently correcting and guiding the enthusiast at every step of not only the practices but of life also! No book can correct you.
Though today’s yoga Gurus may not be dressed so grandly, the fact is that they are very important, as they today, carry forth the lineage of yoga. They are the one’s who create more yoga trainers, as well as an ever increasing mass of yoga students and enthusiastic practitioners.