Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teaching Yoga

"Yoga is for those who have discipline, tenacity and devotion .  .  . the teacher can lead the student only as far as she has gone herself." (p.10)  I like how practicing and teaching yoga is a direct experience.  I appreciate how my practice, even though I am physically not as accomplished as many teachers, is "enough" to share with others.  My spirit is strong and "experienced."  I am accomplished at praise and focusing on "light."  I can lead others to "be still and know."  I can share "peace."

I am excited about sharing yamas and niyamas through story with young people:
ahimsa (nonharming)--"Teddy Bear Friends"
satya and asteya (truthfulness and nonstealing)--Being FrankRuthie and the Not-So-Teeny-Tiny Lie
aparigraha (greedlessness)--King Midas
I am happy to accept the challenge of and model incorporation of these relationships to the world and self in my life.

"All people can and will make mistakes .  .  .  If the teacher presents a glittering rendition of himself that does not accurately reflect his faults and foibles .  .  . the student may experience alienation from her own shortcomings."  (p.14) By not wearing a mask, I naturally put people at ease.  I think I do not intimidate when "keeping it real."

I found the exploration of boundaries interesting.  Frankly, I was surprised by some ideas presented because I couldn't fathom it not being a boundary .  .  . highlighting my naivete and lack of experience. I liked turning around some questions "That is an excellent question, and I believe you are in the process of answering it yourself.  Please let me know what you discover." (p. 39)  Already, I am a teacher who believes in "empowerment" -- I believe in the handing the spoon to the student instead of the spoon-fed, more co-dependent approach.

"I notice that teachers who act unethically often do so not because they are bad people but because they simply are not aware of the issues at stake." (p. 52)  I think this is why we continue the learning process and maintain connections--to avoid "unawareness."  I plan to keep on reading, studying, asking questions of experienced yogis to facilitate growth and minimize "poor" choices.

" .   .  .  when you work with a teacher who has very high standards, you tend to reach for a higher goal yourself." (p. 56)  Iron sharpens iron.  How ironic when a teacher is successful there is the danger to "rest one's laurels." (p.64)  Again, the need to continue to grow, advance, push for the next goal is necessary for maintenance of "success."

"Our culture makes it shameful and not okay to not know .  .  . her honesty gave her integrity and credibility." (pp. 73-74)  I am thankful for this particular pearl.  I do not know SO MUCH and it's okay, more than okay.  It is encouraging to others to be "real."  It also provides an opportunity for me to learn and find out how to answer the question by asking a question!

Amplification (p.79)
I have always enjoyed using mics in the classroom.  I think I would appreciate having a headset when teaching.  I can appreciate how others can more clearly hear your voice.  In general, having your own equipment is very helpful when you take your show on the road.

"I discourage drop-in attendance because even someone observing a class can cause members of a group to feel uncomfortable" (p.82).  I am wondering if this is what Mallory has been running into while trying to observe classes in New York?  I also thought this interesting because a local studio recently divided because one owner wanted more drop-in attendance opportunities and the other partner preferred more commitment-oriented classes.  The "drop-in" oriented studio is less financially stable .  .  . "Money is the exchange of energy." (p.110)

"When a teacher or center fails to make its terms clear, students are given no guidance and so form their own ideas about what is permissible" (p.83).  WOW.  This explains the power of having a game plan.

Yoga Research and Education Center (YREC) Ethical Guidelines seem like a great place to get started when setting expectations and developing the game plan.