28.8.16

A Learning Environment for Yoga

With yoga being a body and mind practice combined with several layers of spirituality the teaching of yoga becomes a holistic practice with a 3rd and even 4th dimensional planes of existence. These planes open up through the added layers of spirituality involved in a yoga practice. Yoga is the science of improvement of our own being:how much we put in it, reaps rewards, and this very attitude of self-awareness, mindfullness, and exploration of the inter-play of natural forces, bio-energy, mind and body connection, inner-self and the own beliefs distilled with the practice, creates a resonance of long-lasting spiraling wellness.
Teaching yoga is a holistic practice, it makes people move their body, calm their mind, modiy their bio-energy, creates some space for release of blockages and frustrations, clarifies the mind, detoxifies the body in a non-competitive self-awareness context.



The abundance or total absence of anatomical references, alignments cues, adjustments, vinyasa (dynamic synchronization of breath with movement), mantra chanting, and pranayama ( breath control and expansion) largely depends on the style for ,yoga, background of the teacher and to a certain extend geographic location of the class.

Now who is a yoga teacher? What makes a yoga teacher a teacher? What are the main similarities and diffferences between teaching and instructing?

The two roles may sound similar and to a certain extend present some similarities: instructions are being given to people to move their body. I also heard once someone using the word "commanding" irrespectively for instructing, teaching, coaching and guiding.  So there are some distinctions and they are actually significant.
Here's the Why and the How.

In a nutshell, instructing is indeed about giving instructions and making sure people follow them and teaching is about explaining, demonstrating and making sure people understand their journey and experience. To a lifecoach  these distinctions are essential!

Instructions are part of teaching. Teaching  is about creating a learning environment without mirroring: creating rapport with people and turning their experience into a inward journey (self-awareness) with an outward expression (asana).

The learning environment, the space in which the teaching  occurs, comprises of the teacher, the students and the quality of the content not only in the demonstration and explanation of asana, sequences, alignment, adjustments and cues, yet also in the quality of the inter-personal skills of the teacher.

Key inter-personal skills for a yoga teacher are amongst others and in priority:

- observation of body language, facial expressions, reactions to cues andffolding of asana; 
- listening and not only to verbal remarks or questions from students, also breath and the subtle energy of movements;
- being able to read the experience of the students on their body and being signaled any alteration of the breath, or movement;
- being able to bring minor subtle changes and modiciations that will make the experience move from gross to subtle and being able to read that...
- connecting the whole practice to overal lifestyle;
- creating a space of inner awareness and being able to bring it forth and create change.
- changing tone of voice and modulating use of voice to experience to be create.

 A lot more skills are necessary and wil be subject to another post.

Creating a learning environment where students are accompanied, guided to improve their own being rather than just telling them what to do.

Be good, appreciate yourself and take care.
Namaste.