Teacher's Blog

Can I touch you?

I am so thrilled to be back into the swing of things.  I had major surgery in December and its been a slow road back into practicing and teaching.  It feels so empowering to be moving my body (I couldn't practice for 9 weeks - eeek!)  and to be of service by teaching (to get out of my head and focusing on other people).   Sweet gifts of this profession.

One thing I'm super sensitive to is how much energy it takes to touch people.  I remember times during my first couple years of teaching where I'd give a lot of adjustments and feel energized and uplifted from class. Other times I would finish an adjustment and immediately feel dizzy and nauseous.  After some time I realized that I was taking on whatever that student was letting go of.  I was a sponge for their toxic waste.  YUCK!!!  Plus, feeling sick after teaching is such a bummer.  So, I sought out help in how to become a channel for energy.   I learned how to ground myself, to stay in my own body, and to be a conduit for whatever was being released. 

Luckily I've received a lot of adjustment knowledge from the many senior teachers I had the privilege of studying with.  I gained the confidence and the knowledge to physically help people from the get go.  I can't imagine contending with the energetic demands of touching people AND feeling anxious and nervous about what to do when giving an adjustment.  Its a lot. 

When I talk to newer teachers, giving adjustments is the #1 challenge they have in teaching yoga.  Most teacher's describe being afraid of hurting someone, uncertain of what to do, how to touch or where.  In the case where the teacher knows some adjustments, she may not know why she's giving it which creates a distinct difference in how a student will receive the being touched.  Confidence matters!

That's why I created the Inspire your Yoga Teaching Coaching Program and The Art and Science of Adjustments workshop.

Whether you want to feel confident when adjusting, create fun and exciting sequences, develop your home practice or develop a yoga biz, this coaching program or workshop is for you.  Both are completely customized to where you are and what you need.  Think of it like a personalized teacher training. 

Click here to get more info and apply for Coaching.
Click here or call 773.342.9642 to register for The Art and Science of Adjusting - beyond down dog and cobra.  Sunday Feb 15th from 2-5pm at Yogaview in Lincoln Park.

I look forward to supporting you in spreading the yoga love.

dorie

Ineffective verbal ticks

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Teacher's, I've been watching a lot of yoga and fitness videos recently and I've noticed a verbal "tick"  that is unnecessary...it is:

"Now you're gonna"  or "Now we're gonna (add action or pose here)"

When you add this extra verbiage you're doing 2 things

 

1.  Prepping your students for what's about to happen:
This isn't necessary.  People come to class to be told what to do.  You don't have to prep them.  Instead, use your time wisely with a demonstration to teach alignment or a new pose if you must.

2. Wasting precious time and taking them out of the moment:
Filling the time in with extra words such as "now we're gonna" takes away from the precious time the student has to connect with themselves.  Give the students time and space to breathe, feel and digest what you have offered for them to experience.  Prepping your students takes them out of the present and into the future, even if its just a few seconds away.  The present is where all the juicy stuff is.  

Instead of prepping, get succinct and clear with this tried and true formula for instructions:

Breath, verb your body part direction pose

For example,
“Inhale, stretch your arms over your head”
“Inhale, step your right foot forward, warrior 1”

or when someone is already in a pose and you’re instructing alignment in a pose

verb your body part direction

for example,
“push the top of your right thigh back”

             "It is noble to teach oneself, but still nobler to teach others."

-Mark Twain

Using action words/verbs at the beginning of your instructions will keep the student's mind alert, engaged and present in their practice.  

And we all know, the present is where the magic happens.  Facilitate magic and spread the love.