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| I'm turning mean|
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|Yoga -> Yoga Teachers||Message format|
|I can relate to all these things. |
The "yelling" was this:
"Step to the front of your mat."
"Step to the front of your mat."
"Step to the front of your mat."(looking at the students who were talking)
"Step to the front of your mat. Samastithi..."
Both of them were back this week.
|i was replying to Cyndi. |
I find a lot of similar qualities in your style and mine.
|yeah, i've been in that situation.|
|My Sivananda teacher's remedy for persistent chattering in the face of subtle hints was to give the whole class 20-30 minutes of sun salutations or other vinyasa series he taught. If the offenders still had breath for chatter after that, they tended to wilt under the heat of a thousand glares from fellow class mates. |
Edited by Orbilia 2007-09-20 11:39 AM
|yea, there wasn't much talking about the sun salutes for sure.... |
I teach from my own experiences and practice and feel it best to continue in this way.
I'm still learning and hopeful about my future as a teacher.
Location: Somewhere in the Mountains of Western NC
TampaEric - 2007-09-20 11:03 AM
i was replying to Cyndi.
I guess you have to do what you gotta do....however, I promise you, as a yoga aspirant, if I attended your class and was yelled at, or lets say, found the class to be in a "militant" style or maybe that's too harsh of a word, maybe not, , I probably would never return back to your class. If you want to teach that way, that's your business. I'm just giving feedback to this thread. I refuse to put myself in this kind of environment, it is not good for any yoga practice. We are suppose to represent Tolerance and Compassion. At the same time, we should learn the art of how to gain respect from the people we connect with. Whether that be with our peers or students, doesn't matter. It's an art and one that is not practiced like it should. As a yoga teacher, definitely you should evaluate yourself and do a self check on a regular basis. Teachers are just as proned to "life" situations as well as anyone else.
The most successful studios that I've been to are laid back, comfortable and are very welcoming to the students/customers. There are soo many "nicer" ways to present yoga to this Western society, without coming across as being rigid and strict, but at the same time, having a mutual respect for the teachings.
Don't get me wrong here....I'm come from a more traditional background than just about anyone here. We agreed a couple of years ago on this very forum that Western Yoga was much different than the Traditional Style Yoga. Frankly, even back then, I was having a difficult time trying to marry the two together, it seemed impossible. My guru would not even teach certain teachings to Americans for this very reason. But, some guru's have and felt it was very necessary to teach yoga to the west. Its being done quite successfully these days. I'm just trying to go with the flow and incorporate both. It's very interesting, to say the least.
|I felt a little harsh after I typed and sent. But, from what you wrote, it did sound like you were busting people's chops, and that's not what it's about in my yoga world. ;) In that situation of a few people not coming to the front of the mat, I would have completely ignored them and moved on, and probably cracked a joke that would have had the class laughing. I teach with a sense of humor, and definitely don't get bent out of shape if a few people are not into me. Just means they will find another class or teacher that is a better match for them. |
But, in this case, you said this is a college class? Then, they will be coming back each week? I was a school teacher-I'd handle that by saying in the beginning of class, they will get the grade they earn and explain that it's not about the asana, it's about effort. Then, the rest is up to the student.
You're right-you have to teach your authentic yoga. If that's with a lot of discipline, then so be it. I'm sure there are plenty of students who click with you. If I felt singled out, or "yelled" at in a class, I would not click with that.
For me, I teach with humor, and even in my classes of close to 50 people, it works.
Edited by Kym 2007-09-20 6:49 PM
|Tourist, I would never ask someone privately about their socks. These are adults, not children. If someone is wearing socks, that's their business. What if they have a fear of germs and are embarrassed to tell me? I think it's intrusive to get into someone's business like that. In a room of 40 or 50 people (or even 10!), they can intuit that they are supposed to take off socks, and if they choose not to, peace out. I want my class to be 100% inclusive and I want everyone to feel comfortable. |
As for gum, I still think if you're old enough to vote, you're old enough to take responsibility for what you have in your own mouth.
I don't mean to be harsh, I'm just speaking my truth. I thought Eric would be ok with it.
|Even if you dismiss the possibility of choking, how could you possibly breathe properly when chewing gum? In my experience, it's already hard enough to get students to breathe in a satisfactory manner during asana practice WITHOUT the gum chewing.|
|My feelings are very straightforward on this. |
The teacher is responsible for setting and then maintaining the rules of the class.
The student has a responsibility to follow their teachers rules. In a traditional ashram/class context, if the student did not follow the rules then they would certainly be asked to leave. I believe this also applies to a modern Yoga class.
Of course, the student also has the right to leave the class or teacher if they feel the rules are inappropriate or they dislike the teacher.
Regarding lateness to class. If I am running late due to work or traffic, then I call or text my teacher and she is usually pretty understanding and forgiving. If I just walk in late with no warning or previous explaination, then I expect to be in trouble.
|Jonnie, I agree-in my class I want the "rules" followed also. However, my "rules" don't involve gum, lateness, or socks, for example. What are your rules? You didn't say. The only rule I can think of that I have is that a student cannot adjust another student-that actually happened in my class-can you believe it? Well, it happened ONCE, never again. |
I teach the way I respond when taught. I will fall over backwards to do anything for a leader/boss/teacher if they are competant in their area, kind, open minded, humble, and generous in mind and spirit and deed. And, tolerance is HUGE for me. The world does not revolve around me and my teaching. I am honored when someone comes to practice with me, whether they can be on time or not. Howver, it's rare when someone is late, so it's not really an issue. Then again, maybe it's not an issue b/c I don't make it one.
I have a really wonderful group of people I teach. Maybe I just don't have the problems you all have and have never needed to have "rules" per se. For example, I've never seen someone chew gum in class. Maybe they know that they will choke and spit it out before class? I've had a phone go off in class, but the person jumped up and turned it off in total embarrassment. I don't need to tell the class to turn off phones, they know that, but mistakes do happen. I'm not going to treat them like imbicels by telling them something like that every class. You know, this is yoga, not brain surgery.
|Kym - I think we all would have to see each other's classes to see how it works. I am not a stickler for things like phones or gum etc, either. I don't go around making huge pronouncements at the start of each class. If someone is talking past when I need everyone's attention, I 'll ask without sarcasm if they had a question for me that needs to be answered. We have a lot of fun. Socks are a safety issue with me, but I have a had a student keep hers on due to a problem rash. Phones, you are right, people tend to jump up and rush with mad embarrassment to turn them off ("OMG, my phone NEVER rings! I'm so sorry!") though I did have one man go out into our change area (separated only my a cubicle divider) and answer his. After that I got a bit snarky about phones for awhile|
Kym - 2007-09-22 5:36 PM
Jonnie, I agree-in my class I want the "rules" followed also. However, my "rules" don't involve gum, lateness, or socks, for example. What are your rules? You didn't say.
Please don't think that my comments were directed at your post. I was replying in general to the thread.
While I personally like studying under a traditional/strict teacher, my personal teaching style is quite relaxed.
|We all have our individual teaching styles and I hope that they are all evolving as we are. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another, although if most of us went around actually hitting students as Iyengar often has, we would end up with lawsuits. (If someone (including Iyengar) actually hit me in class to teach me a lesson, I would hit him back to show that I learned the lesson!) Whatever we do in class, we can expect our students to emulate. We need to model the attitudes and behaviors that we want to teach. An excellent example of this is how Ganga White and Tracey Rich teach. When asked a question, they do not just answer it, they try it and verbally share their observations about it. This teaches the student to be aware of what is going on in their own body/mind in the present instead of memorizing something and repeating it. It also teaches humility, inquiry and openess instead of pride and arrogance. Although every class we teach is a performance of sorts, I think that it is important to connect personally with each student and to be a good example in how we do the poses (when we demonstrate) and how we relate. I believe that a teacher should share their knowledge and experience with their students like good friends share a meal.|
Edited by jimg 2007-09-21 1:22 PM
jimg - 2007-09-22 9:19 PM
if most of us went around actually hitting students as Iyengar often has, we would end up with lawsuits.
I think this is urban myth.
Mr. Iyengar is definately a tactile teacher but I've never heard of him hitting anyone. He loves Yoga and loves his students.
Being strict and being violent are two very different things.
|It may be an urban myth and I hope that it is, but I have personally heard senior Iyengar teachers proudly say that they were actually hit by Iyengar and Eric Schiffmann relates in his book how Iyengar hit him hard in the jaw to make a point. |
Being "strict" is often (but not necessarily) another form of violence.
|Mr. Iyengar says that the teacher should remain sattvic inside and display the rajasic nature outside. |
The rajasic quality of the teacher helps to overcome the tamasic nature of the students.
Edited by jonnie 2007-09-21 3:28 PM
|I have not really seen the BKS of old, however I have seen a fairly current (2001) Geeta. She "hit" a student very firmly on the chest, many times! to get him to lift his sternum and open his chest. She was not angry and she was not smacking him around and calling him names. She just wanted to wake up the area on the front of his chest. And it worked.|
|To put this all into a bit of historical context: Until quite recently, fathers hit their children and teachers hit their students to make a point or to punish them or as a teaching tool. It is even a very recent thing for it to be socially unacceptable for a husband to hit his wife. My point is not to malign Mr Iyengar but rather to underscore how we all teach differently and how what is acceptable behavior to model for your students is not static and cannot be copied from someone else.|
|i have bony fingers. |
tourist - 2007-09-22 2:58 AM
I have not really seen the BKS of old, however I have seen a fairly current (2001) Geeta. She "hit" a student very firmly on the chest, many times! to get him to lift his sternum and open his chest. She was not angry and she was not smacking him around and calling him names. She just wanted to wake up the area on the front of his chest. And it worked.
This is the difference and I think you'll find the same applies to her father's teaching style.
As a rule, physical adjustments are a last resort in Iyengar Yoga. First comes a verbal adjustment and then the 'tap' to wake the student's attention to that area. Many senior Iyengar teachers from India and Europe have done this to me and I have never felt violated at all.
|Well put, jim. I am of the first generation in N America (and I am "only" in my early 50's) where it has been really socially unacceptable to use corporal punishment. A strap on the hands was still used quite regularly when I was in elementary school and I can recall my father talking about breaking a yardstick over some poor high school kid's backside in the very early 60's - with no regret except that he ruined a yardstick. This was all pretty much over by the early 1970's when I hit (no pun intended!) high school. All for the better, I strongly believe. |
But the question at hand has nothing to do with punishment, embarrassment or belittling a student. The hits and pokes and thumps (I admit I have thumped the upper chest of a student, which I don't really remember, but she recalled it with a smile the next time we did that pose!) have a purpose much more akin to kneading and thumping a loaf of bread or lump of clay. The next time anyone is practicing and can't keep those silly kneecaps lifted, I suggest giving your thighs a good whack. It WILL wake them up
The next time anyone is practicing and can't keep those silly kneecaps lifted, I suggest giving your thighs a good whack. It WILL wake them up
Or, I heard a great teacher cue to lift the toes off the mat, and that perked up my quads. No stick needed!
Edited by Kym 2007-09-23 12:58 AM
|i find that if i give all the different verbal, demonstration, and pointing cues and they still don't get it, a gentle poke-poke-poke poke poke poke poke on the area will do the trick.|
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