What's your teaching style?
How do you feel when you see images of yoga poses labelled as “wrong”?
It makes me wonder about teaching style, clarity and how we can best support our students. Of course there are different learning styles of learning but sometimes students have a powerful desire to get things "right”.
There’s a bit to unpick here – what’s wrong with taking a different approach, is different necessarily unacceptable and what does it mean to be “right”?
Looking back, it’s obvious that I’ve personally discovered more from my mis-steps than when things have gone according to plan.
In terms of asana practice, I wonder whether it's helpful to identify movements as being intrinsically "right" or "wrong" because so much depends on the individual. Can we explore the poses with a sense of enquiry and without certainty to find out for ourselves which movements feel beneficial and which don't feel so good?
An experienced teacher will encourage us to approach each new movement slowly, to work out how it feels for ourselves, to test ourselves. Whilst teaching they will hold space for us whilst we explore and discover how to trust ourselves and make our own decisions about what works.
The challenge of following written instructions when teaching is that when something is labelled “right” or “wrong”, we tend to believe it without question. The written word has power.
An important part of my work in training teachers is to encourage everyone to question whether the messages they read or receive in class are appropriate or helpful.
I'd like all my trainees to build trust in themselves by carrying out their own research.
When we double check knowledge and pass it through the lens of our own bodies we are subtly empowering ourselves. Active research helps us build our understanding, supports the sharing of current discoveries and underpins an engaged approach to learning.
This way, we constantly add to the pool of shared wisdom and learn to truly stand upon the shoulders of our teachers - and that's only possible once we've learned to trust ourselves.
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