When we teach, it is no longer about ourselves. It is all about giving to the students. It is not about showing the students in class what the teacher can do and get into an advanced pose. It is about helping the students to have a greater understanding and awareness to their own body, to achieve a better body alignment and going into deeper practice. It is about paying attention to each and every students that is in the class.
Always give clear detailed instructions. When it comes to a more complex pose, break it down and make it accessible to everyone. Give the variations for the poses. Let the students know which part of their body they are working on. Activating & engaging the right muscles. It is the details that take one to new places in their practice, places that they never thought they could get to before.
To be sharp enough to see the body type, assist them to go into poses with proper alignment. We do not want students to pick up wrong habits as it could be harder to correct those bad habits than to teach a fresh new body. When we see that the student is ready for a deeper practice, assist & adjust them to go deeper.
Commonly seen in class, we can get too serious about yoga and get caught up in the competitive aspect of our own practice and miss the part that is pretty important which is Fun! Keep the energy of the class high, motivate the students, put in the fun element, bring out more smiles and laughter in the class. Is play time, Let’s go play!!
Make every word counts. Empower the students. Motivate the students. Encourage the students. Whether is it the soft delicate words that warm the hearts of the students and make them less intimidated or the hard pressing words to allow the students push a little harder, the purpose is still to empower the students to do what they can even when their mind tell them that they can’t.
In order to teach, one should continue to practise yoga regularly. This is so important. How can one teach without him/herself practising what he/she teaches? Remember, we should not be practising together with the students while we are teaching!
Joey Soh Pek Koon (200hr Weekend Mar-Jun 2013)