I borrowed this line. I took it from a great guru and adapted the language as the concept evolved in my own life. Some years ago I went through a series of teacher trainings with a yogi master named Yogi Amrit Desai, also known as Gurudev. From these intensive trainings I received many things, but the two that stand out are the following:  The first has to do with the movement of energy, prana.  I discovered that through his practices, a dense barrier was broken down in me and this prana, life force, was able to move through in a way I had never experienced, which serves me to this day both on and off the mat.

The second has to do with a bit of wisdom which he imparted upon our completing the intense sessions of learning asana directions and philosophy. It was this: You can know alot of information about the poses, the spiritual texts and anatomy, but in the end, “You don’t teach what you know, you teach who you are.” I love this.  It helped me let go of the mind and ego driven agenda in teaching students to move through the practice.  Because this helped me so much, I offered it to the students, “You don’t practice what you know, you practice who you are.”  And now, I have broadened this concept as words to live by.

Have you ever been in a yoga class with someone who is very knowledgeable about the poses?  Perfectly executing the sequences, not missing a beat, with even pace and impeccable sanskrit pronunciation, but then left the class feeling empy?  I have.  It was not because the teacher lacked skill, it was because she had taught from her head -which is only one portion of the total experience. Where was the heart?  The compassionate understanding for the receivers?  Where was her individual personality? 

As a teacher, I can feel when I am in my head, in my ego, delivering a class with agenda and it feels, well, bad.  When I let go and trust who I am and offer these miraculously life-giving teachings as a personal messenger, the feeling is light, whole, free and I daresay, that feeling is also shared by the students (at least that’s what they tell me).

Getting out of the head and into the heart and soul of self seems to connect quite directly to the True Self.

 “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu