Sometimes as teachers we get stuck in a rut. Working multiple classes each week, to different students, different studios, over time depleting our energy; so it’s no surprise sometimes we default to the easy teaching path. We can fall into the trap of teaching from auto pilot, switching back to sequencing that gets us through the class without expanding our edges. Giving the same cues each lesson because that’s what we’ve learned, never questioning, never dissecting. This is the way Yoga has been taught for so many years, it must work, so why change it? To stay inspired and up to date in the forever progressive nature of Yoga, education is the key; whatever your heart felt focus.
Last weekend Leah spent her time training with Leslie Kaminoff. Leslie has been practicing Yoga for 40 years and trained under TKV Desikachar (son of Sri T Krishnamacharya) and over the years has seen the transformation of Yoga as we know it. Leslie and his partner Lydia Mann travel the world educating Yoga teachers on how to lead students in a way that promotes health and wellness within the body. He believes that we need to empower students to listen to the needs of their own body, rather than just doing what they are instructed to do. Moving in ways that are not only safe but also nourishing to the needs of their body, being guided from a state of inquiry into a state of understanding their own body. The student cohort over the weekend experienced in Leslie’s words “Some Uh Oh moments as well as some Ah Ha moments”. Cues we have been using through out our teaching lives that sometimes are just words with no substance behind them and could perhaps become injurious. To changing our lense on others and their effects on the body which lead us to Ah Ha moments, allowing us to see them with more clarity. Leslie noted that as teachers we need to stop telling students what they should be feeling and instead invite them to see what they notice.
1 weekend with Leslie Kaminoff wasn’t enough, Leah could spend a teaching lifetime feeding off his knowledge. But as with every educational experience you have as a teacher if you can take home 3 things to share with your students is been a very worthwhile experience. Where appropriate why not change things up a bit, make room in your class to allow enquiry and confusion to what you and your students already see to be the truth. Try this, Try that, see how it feels. As quoted by TKV Desikachar “The Recognition of confusion is itself a form of clarity.