My very deep yoga teacher insights which I want to share.
Most people who come to their first yoga class expect their yoga teacher to show everything. So that they can copy and do it so precise as their instructor with beliving that then they do it right.
Well, I don`t show anything in my classes and that seems to be quite unique these days in the modern yoga world and that`s why I think it is worth sharing.
I stick to the old yoga tradition and I was trained to teach yoga programs without showing a thing. I would just guide by sitting or walking around (depends of the size of the group) and correcting my students only after they have already come into the pose.
When I started my yoga teacher education I had to teach one program over and over again to experienced teachers until I was able to guide it so super smoothly and clearly that it was impossible not to understand. So whats the purpose behind it and benefits of not showing the yoga poses?
First of all the level of attention in the class is very high when people are listening to the instructions. Since my students know that I am not showing anything they just have to listen and follow the class. When you do yoga just by listening to the instructions you do it with much greater body awareness and it touches you in a much deeper level. In that way you learn how to listen to your body and follow the program as good as you can without straining and forcing yourself.
Not showing the poses does that a yoga student can actually relax in the class. I can`t even imagine that my student would need to lift their head and look at me each time there is a new pose, especially poses you do lying down on the back… what a disturbing moment.
Time and again I get students who`s attitude is a bit like come on why can`t you show the poses, why can`t you do it like they are doing it everywhere else…? To these people I want to say that yes exactly thats the problem! That is why I am writing this article. So many people go to fitness yoga and do a bit streching in the candle light and music and think that this is it. Unfortunately that is such a pity that they think so because it is not it.
When you do the real stuff with real yoga teacher you can actually feel yourself deeply touched and relaxed by yoga. Your life and your understanding of the life can change dramatically for the better. That includes your inner well being and even certain diseases which can be cured by practising some of the yoga techniques. You start to communicate with your body with love and treating it with love.
Not showing the poses from the yoga teacher point of view is that I actually have much better overview of all my students in the class. So it s not that I am not fit enough to show the poses, which I`v heard some students guess and which in my case is not true at all.
Another thing that most students do not think about is that a proper yoga teacher has his/hers own regular yoga practise and most often they do it when they are alone. So when they have done their own yoga at home then teaching yoga for others becomes Karma yoga – selfless service, where you want to help people through these techniques.
Every teacher despite what they are teaching yoga or something else LOVE when their students are attentive and doing exactly as they say. I personally really enjoy when the level of alertness in the class is it`s highest. It is me as a teacher who makes sure to increase that level of silent awareness in class and every BODY benefits from it.
Yoga teacher is never just a teacher. I feel myself as an artist as a conductor when I teach, I am tuning in my orchestra. I use my intuition each time and trying to sense in which sate my students are at that very moment and how can I change this state so that worries and stress can evapurate and this works every time.
Just a little true story to end this article.
That happend to one of my yoga colleague`s class.
At the end of the beginner course we sometimes do even poses like the Headstand. It is guided in steps very thoroughly. In one of the regular groups there was a blind man attenting the course. When the teacher started to guide (and not show) how to come up to the Headstand this blind man together with the rest of the group followed the instructions and he was the ONLY ONE coming up to the pose the first time!! He was just listening and following what was said. So here you go, just to prove you that showing the poses does not necessarily always help.
To be continued..