However experienced they are, not all yoga teachers are the same.
One of the great benefits of knowing about Natural Superheroes in the context of yoga practice is that students get even greater holistic training for themselves by ensuring they experience a variety of teaching from different enneagram types as they develop.
Now, ordinarily I never promote friends through my blog as it would been seen as biased but in this case I have made an exception because I trust that by the end of this blog, this information will be genuinely useful to many yoga fans and fanatics.
I have known, trained with, loved and admired Sally Parkes for over seventeen years. As friends, we have been there for each other at the end of the phone as we continue our adventure into the challenging way of working that is being self-employed.
During a conversation about business just last week, we were discussing how competitive the yoga market is these days and how increasingly difficult it is to stand out from the crowd above ‘all of the noise’.
“I know it can be tough, ” I said, “but you do realise that your enneagram profile is very, very different from the vast majority of yoga teachers, don’t you? This makes you a different Natural Superhero in the world of yoga.”
Now this doesn’t mean that everyone should just go to Sally for their yogic development – there are many, many great yoga teachers in the UK and across the world. However, what it does do is highlight a few very genuine reasons as to why yogis should explore and experience a little piece of her work (or that of a yoga teacher with the same profile if you come across one) at least once in their lifetime.
Sally’s core profile is that of a seven (enthusiast) with an eight (leader) wing. The natural path of positive integration for this profile is first towards five (genius) and two (carer).
To relate this to someone in the public eye, Tony Robbins is one of the most successful and brilliant personal development experts and Sally shares this core profile with him. Because of his deep spiritual work he has naturally been able to radically expand his awareness so much that he can clearly access and utilise all of the best aspects of all nine types which very few people have been able to do. He REALLY understands wholeness AND he moves through life in conscious wholeness unlike anyone else I know. Still his core drive is clearly helping people and he has amassed tremendous amounts of knowledge which he openly shares to achieve huge success for himself and others.
Having attended many of his programmes, listened to countless hours of audio and watched many you tube clips of his (all of which are crammed with truly brilliant content) I often talk about him with Sally to assist her with her development. I explain to her that when he is speaking – it often feels like he is speaking to me and only me. This comes naturally from his first and deepest drive of helping people. You see the eight profile integrates positively first and foremost into the profile of two – the carer.
Most of us want to help people and hold this in mind but the natural intensity of this core profile’s intention of serving people is maintained more easily and greatly under pressure. More than any other type it remains their primary driving force towards consistent positive action in their life and the lives of those around them on a daily basis.
Let’s be clear, I am not saying that Sally is Tony Robbins. What I am saying is that the patterns of her core enneagram profile and therefore her deepest drives are the same and whilst this doesn’t necessarily make her ‘the yoga teacher that everyone should flock to’ (after all life is horses for courses) but it does make her distinctly different from yogic norm.
From my studies, the vast majority of the greatest yoga teachers are nines (peacemakers) with one (perfectionist) wings. At their very best, they follow their deepest drives to be the best they can be, achieve greatness and have fun in the process. And, if they are functioning mostly from the healthiest aspect of their profile, they motivate and inspires a class of people to achieve greatness too by being willing to repeat practice over and over and over and over again. They make natural yoga teachers and have incredible gifts when they chose to cultivate that side of their talent.
So whilst all yoga teachers may appear to be doing the same thing, the reality is that the subtleties of their styles are very different and therefore you can expect to get something different from each yoga teacher who has a different core enneagram profile.
Enthusiasts find it very difficult to be still. Always looking for the next exciting experience. Because it is so rare that a seven (enthusiast) profile sticks with any one career or project long enough for their natural genius (their Natural Superhero) to grow and flourish, in yogic terms, they don’t often gain the incredible mass of knowledge required to not only be a great teacher but to have an authentic depth of knowledge which is usually significantly greater than most (like Tony Robbins). Sally has done this. She has immersed herself in fitness and yoga, writing books and even creating detailed yoga teacher training courses too over the past 20 years.
Many 9/1s think they are of a seven (enthusiast) profile because the path of integration from one is into seven so they are enthusiastic when at their best – yet their core profile of this type is much more peaceful in its’ approach and appearance on the whole.
A core type seven’s constant and naturally high energy, even on an‘average’ day, will have people engaged and excited about fitness and yoga (or whatever they do) in a heartbeat. Their style of teaching it is infectious – such a buzz – and they can more easily sustain it over time than any other profile – good for yogis who are themselves 9/1s.
When I come across any seven (enthusiast) profile who spends so many years studying just one subject matter that I am even remotely interested in, then I pay close attention. Why? Because I know that they probably have amassed and retained unquantifiable amounts of knowledge. And, if they are not in the public eye, that this often hidden knowledge is like uncovering abundant buried treasure from years gone by. Healthy sevens are like enormous walking treasure troves – full of the most valuable insights and information available anywhere AND they want to share it to help people first and foremost.
As I said to her, “there are truly not many ‘Sally’s’ around in yoga at all and this is what makes you a truly rare breed of yoga instructor – so have faith in that and promote your genius”.
Yes, she is my dear friend but putting our friendship completely to one side – her Natural Superheroes profile gives her an edge that yogis far and wide would be wise to make real friends with, pay close attention to and enjoy learning from.
Sally’s Website: www.sallyparkesyoga.com and her Twitter @SallyParkesYoga
For yogis, the Natural Superheroes book will hopefully be published in early 2018. Please follow me on twitter @natsuperheroes for updates.