By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
For Yoga teachers, there are many advantages to fine tuning the art of spoken communication. When compared to writing, speaking is much more personal. The interaction with one student, or an entire class, establishes a rapport.
Working face-to-face, with a class, allows you to use voice inflection, body language, facial expressions, and hand gestures. Through this, you have created a form of unconscious human interaction, which results in trust.
Some Yoga instructors manage to make each student feel important during class time. A Yoga instructor gives physical assists, when needed, and addresses each student’s needs. This is much different from being a public speaker because of the student / teacher relationship.
Yet, a public speaker must also establish a bond, develop trust, and create an open atmosphere. In any type of classroom setting, the student should never be afraid to ask a question. The open environment enables the collective group to make progress, and prevents misunderstandings.
Once open communication is established, there are no limits as to what students can learn in your Yoga classes. Information is exchanged rapidly, clearly, and without confusion. Many times, sincere students, who ask in-depth questions, stimulate the interest of the entire group.
Some Yoga teachers have a firm policy of not answering questions during class time. The concern, among these teachers, is how to handle a disruptive, or ego-driven, student. If you have a person who you feel is purposely disrupting the class, keep your answer short and offer to discuss the question after class.
Yoga instructors can misunderstand the motives behind a student’s questions or actions too. Take the time to see the big picture and resist judgments. The student, who is curious, has sought you out for the answers to his or her questions. Students, who ask a lot of questions, cause us to research an old topic again. There is no harm in this because curious students make their teachers better.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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