When The Yoga Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear


When the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Who hasn’t heard that adage? It is used in myriad conversations and contexts. Why? In a huge sense it is a Universal truth. No matter how many times our ears hear sounds, or our eyes see signs, unless we open our minds and hearts, we will not notice what either we are not ready to know, or yet understand. For the purpose of this post, I have modified the adage to, “When The Yoga Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear.” This syncs better with my current thought patterns.

Just as the Sutras describe the human state, and all religious texts do in their own forms as well, people may not understand what these texts and lineages really say or mean unless they have the capacity to understand. This capacity may come from study, practice, experience— both good or bad, and the like. Human inability, to see, notice or understand something, or someone is very profound. And likewise when one begins finally to notice, understand, or see…. All I can say is apparently they are finally ready.

My yoga students have reminded me of this. I may say a similar thing each practice. They may get it immediately, or it may take many months. I have to laugh in my heart when one of the times comes that they tell me that because I finally said something that resonated, let’s say, with the quality of their breath, everything finally came together for a posture or concept they had previously struggled with. I have many of my own instances. I love it when this happens, I realize that even though I may have said the same thing to them 30 times, it was their time to grasp what I was saying. It is journey. Truly.

This is a realization I’ve had about my studio in general. Yoga Soul-quietly opened almost three years ago. Yet it is only now that more and more students are waking up to what we offer. I have advertised, talked about the studio and taught diligently to each wonderful student who came through the door. I am grateful more of our community is ready to truly learn yoga. How exciting! It has been interesting to hear new students proclaim we need to advertise, do more marketing and the like. The truth is we have all along, but yoga is interesting. Students show up to learn when they are ready. Until then they may not notice what they have next door. And that is the way of it.

The song Bob Dylan sings feels so right in this situation. Not in the yoga context, although I do think it fits well, but life in general. What can you think of in your life that you couldn’t see, yet it was there waiting for you? What teacher was waiting for you? Do you wonder what life teachers are ready for you now, that you will soon awaken to?

Yes, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.

Perhaps read these lyrics from Bob Dylan’s song, “My back Pages,” and see if you can see what he means by, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” For myself, it means that the more I learn, the less I realize I know, but also to do what I can to be a conscious human to allow me to recognize life’s teachers when they appear to guide me. A journey of life, indeed.

My Back Pages, ~Bob Dylan

Crimson flames tied through my ears,
Rollin’ high and mighty traps.
Pounced with fire on flaming roads,
Using ideas as my maps.
“We’ll meet on edges, soon,” said I,
Proud ‘neath heated brow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

Half-cracked prejudice leaped forth,
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed.
Lies that life is black and white,
Spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers.
Foundationed deep, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

Girls’ faces formed the forward path,
From phony jealousy.
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history.
Flung down by corpse evangelists.
Unthought of, thought, somehow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

A self-ordained professor’s tongue,
Too serious to fool.
Spouted out that liberty,
Is just equality in school
“Equality,” I spoke the word,
As if a wedding vow
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand,
At the mongrel dogs who teach.
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy,
In the instant that I preach.
My existence led by confusion boats.
Mutiny from stern to bow.
Ah, but I was so much older then,
I’m younger than that now.

Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats,
Too noble to neglect.
Deceived me into thinking,
I had something to protect.
Good and bad, I define these terms.
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow,
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now.