By Nova C S Milesko- Founder of Affinity Yoga Teacher Training– London
Well, for me it started when I was working in CNN International as a News Director. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown from the constant barrage of anger, misery death and destruction, when I realised that for all my shouting about how everyone else was not doing enough to change the world for better, I was in fact, quiet in need of a change too. As my father once said “Be careful what/who you surround yourself with or you will become like it/them”.
Whilst I had entered media wanting to inspire the changes I had seen possible when the power of an image had made people react, like in Ethiopia, Yugoslavia, and Croatia amongst many others, and how it had caused many brave people to risk all to tell the world what was happening. These conflicts and many tragedies, though filled with inspirational stories, were almost always reported as negative ones. As time when on I was pushed past my limit.
I ran away, and while I was running I realised the one constant I had in my life was yoga, no matter how bad everything had got out there, I had always come back to my mat.
It was here that I realised the change I wanted to see in the world had to start right there with me. I know everyone says this, but it is because it is true. You have to start from where you are, (which reminds me of a joke “a man asks for directions to the doctors a few streets away, and the girl responds “oh dear, no, no, no, you can’t get there from here!”” which is ridiculous because you can get anywhere from anywhere, though in some London one way systems it seem more true then not.)
My point is that I realised that if I was going to change the world into a better place then it was going to be with Yoga. By making great teachers, one day, and one person at a time.
Okay, so it’s taken me ten years to feel ready to open a teacher training school. I finally took the plunge last year, even though I’ve been practicing since I was six years old, and teaching for almost twenty. I have been researching, building, and rewriting a training programme for the past few years, waiting for the right time and during this I kept sending students to others trainers who wanted to study with me.
But when all my students on a retreat asked to learn with me I knew I had run out of excuses. Ultimately I had to answer “What are you afraid of?” the answer is: “Not knowing enough, and making bad teachers.”
I can honestly say that those excuses were just fear talking. All the trainees are all wonderful teachers, and getting more confident every day, which reminds me of a quote by Maria Montessori:
“The greatest sign of success for a teacher … is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.’”
Although I will never know everything, I do know how to make people open up to their own potential, and how to build a safe environment for investigation of yoga, and their hearts and minds.
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.”
I will always create a space for people to find their authentic voice in their quest to help others to find some peace and calm. I hope to help many more amazing people become teachers and find their own style.
“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.”
– Yogi Bhajan
If you’re interested in becoming a yoga teacher with me, please visit Affinity Yoga for more details on the Teacher Training starting in September 2015. To get updates on my workshops and retreats please follow me @novamilesko