I've been thinking a lot lately about the craft of teaching yoga. Not the skills or knowledge I'm hoping to impart to the students, but the craft of how I'm sharing what I know. The following thoughts came to me and it is something I'd like to fully live into:
Teaching Yoga is a Conversation. It is me, the teacher, verbally conveying information and instruction to the students' bodies. It is an interaction between my words and their bodies. If I only spout out instruction then only half of the conversation is happening. It is not that the students merely listen to my continuous stream of verbal onslaught. Instead, I offer and they respond physically... the next step, if this is to be a conversation, is that I respond to their response. I refine my instruction or personalize a piece of feedback, or I see that they are getting it and we move on together. And in that way it is a continuous loop of response to each other. Listening and Responding in turn. Without my response to their response the class changes from a conversation into a lecture or a demonstration. That's not what I'm hoping for in the majority of the class time.
At the most profound level something else happens. Instead of a conversation between me, the teacher, and they the students it becomes a conversation between the One and Itself. Meaning, when I can get out of the way I become a vessel for something much bigger passing through the physical form that has the shape of me. And when the student can get out of the way he or she becomes a vessel for the very same energy. This is when a class becomes magic! No longer is it my individual ego caught up in what they are doing and what my expectations are. No longer is it their individual egos caught up in what I am doing and what their expectations are. Instead it is a deep, seamless, nourishing meeting of One back with Itself.
That's the Magic moment! That's what I'm working on both in the classroom and outside of it!