“There is a saying in the East: Each student is a seed that needs to be planted and nurtured into a blossom. The teacher can water and fertilize it, but if there is no sun, it will not survive, and will die.”

– Nanette V. Hucknall, Higher Self Yoga, Book I

As a beginner spiritual seeker (or even an advanced yogi!) searching for ways to dive deeper into spirituality, it can be enticing to attempt the journey alone to define your own spiritual path. However, while you may have plenty of motivation and desire to learn, finding success without support can be a challenge. Dedication and working with the Higher Self through a regular meditation practice is no small task. It takes time, commitment, and often, the encouragement and wisdom of others; the type of support you’d find while working with a coach.

A personal coach is an important part of your spiritual development. A coach provides valuable insights that facilitate growth and a deeper relationship with your Higher Self — for beginners and experienced yogis alike. No matter where you are in your journey, coaching is critical for learning, growth, and self-awareness. Here are six powerful ways a coach can help support and transform your personal growth.

1. A coach identifies areas of improvement and provides tools to grow

Accepting our struggles and faults is vital to our spiritual growth, but it can be a tough pill to swallow. A coach helps bring your weaknesses and challenges to light in an honest, constructive way that supports you in overcoming them, rather than simply telling you what you want to hear. We all have areas that need improvement, yet when we go down this path alone, it is easy to overlook those areas instead of stopping to work on them. A coach can provide tools such as meditations, reflective exercises, and visualizations to help you hone the skills you need to overcome these challenges. Instead of avoiding your shortcomings, it’s important to seek constructive, supportive feedback so that you can use the insight to make changes that will help, not hinder, your progress.

2. A coach encourages and motivates you when you need it most

Coaches don’t simply help to facilitate growth through constructive feedback. They also support you in the most difficult times, and will be your biggest cheerleader when needed. Without the guidance of a coach, it is easy to become frustrated with your spiritual progress, even to the point of wanting to throw in the towel. Working with a coach will keep you on the right path, no matter how tough it gets, and remind you that the journey is as important as the destination.

3. A coach connects you to other like-minded individuals

At Higher Self Yoga, our coaches are more than just teachers. They are established in our community and introduce you to members that share your interests and offer companionship, advice, and encouragement. Surrounding yourself with a community to turn to when you need support can do wonders in helping you maintain commitment to your practice.

4. A coach challenges you

It’s normal to feel unsure of your next step when you begin to work with your Higher Self, and staying in your comfort zone often seems like the better option. However, the longer we remain stagnant, the more we become set in our ways, and it’s easy to convince ourselves that we can’t make changes before we even try. Your coach will gently push you in the right direction and show you that you are indeed capable of achieving a deeper relationship with your Higher Self.

5. A coach validates your experiences

When you first work with the Higher Self, it can be difficult to distinguish between communication from the Wise Mind and from the Ego. In a perfect world, the true voice of the Higher Self would be unquestionable. However, if you are just experiencing this inner knowing for the first time, it can be confusing. Your coach can help you to decipher your experience and determine its validity. Likewise, if you feel that your Higher Self has asked you to make a certain decision, but you are unsure if your assessment is correct, your coach can help shed light on the path. It can be helpful to weigh the pros and cons with a trusted coach before making your choice.

6. A coach keeps you accountable

Life is busy, and even the most devoted and enthused seekers can find themselves distracted by the busyness of day-to-day life. Work and family obligations can easily get in the way of a meditation practice, and it can be easy to put it off until tomorrow. But more often than not, tomorrow never comes. A coach will check in on your progress regularly, and steer you in the right direction if you begin to waver.

Higher Self Yoga coaches have dedicated themselves to their own personal spiritual journeys, and have experienced both the triumphs and challenges of seeking a deep and rewarding relationship with the Higher Self. Only those who have traveled this path have such valuable first-hand knowledge, and in this wisdom, you will find what you need to grow and overcome struggles within your own practice. The coach-coachee relationship is only successful when both are active participants, and though the coach will strive to help you succeed, you must be willing to put in the effort.

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