My mother, a heavy drinker, smoker and all around not healthy person, used to tell us “Do as I say, not as I do.” From a young age, that bugged me. I mean, aren’t actions supposed to speak louder than words?
Yesterday, we learned about guiding a practice with our voice. It hadn’t occurred to me before that I’ve taken many yoga classes with an instructor in the front of the room leading the whole way through. And I followed along. In our training, we’ll learn how to demo some postures in C1 and transitions in other classes. Other than that, we’ll guide with voice and an occasional physical adjust. The thinking behind this is that it lets each student own their practice – it keeps them focused on their breath, not on what’s happening around them.
Our challenge as teachers-in-training is to give clear, concise guidance that lets the student move from posture to posture without having to stop to think. Our challenge is to learn to be in the room in a confident and helpful manner without distracting our students from what they came for – to practice yoga. Not to listen to us babble.
Should be easy enough. Or not.
It’s easy to talk without paying attention to whether or not someone is listening. It’s easy for my ego to take over with all of the highly interesting things I have to say – instead of being in tune enough to understand what others might need to hear. It’s difficult to learn to be comfortable with silence. Our conversation in class yesterday definitely got me thinking about life off the mat. How do I communicate? How much helpful guidance do I put into the world vs. spewing out everything that’s in my head? It’s good stuff to think about.
Today’s intention: I will choose my words carefully to be clear and helpful. Not to feed my own ego.