By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Much like any other subject, there are three basic ways to learn Hatha Yoga. In order to effectively process information, it is best to understand our strong or weak points. Each of us learns Yoga in a different way, but it all comes back to the senses of sight, sound, and touch.
Some students may have a dominant sense or two, but rarely are we attuned to all three. It is important for Yoga teachers to reach out to all three groups – even when he or she also has one or two senses that are weaker.
Let’s take a look at each learning style to understand ourselves and enhance our abilities. It is rare to access all three senses equally during class, so do not judge yourself. Just observe from an objective viewpoint.
The Visual Yoga Student: Learning by sight is a strong point. This student learns by taking notes and reading books. In Yoga classes, this person will usually see the subtleties of alignment, when a teacher demonstrates an asana.
Yet, this same person may not pick up the concepts of Pranayama or meditation as easily. Pranayama and meditation may require audible instruction, and feeling them is important. If you require silence to study, are good at written language, dream in colors, understand maps easily, and close your eyes to remember, or visualize, the past – visual learning is one of your strong points.
The Auditory Yoga Student: Learning by sound is his or her strength. This student responds well to a Yoga teacher’s cues, while some students in class are looking around to see what the teacher or other students are doing. Verbal directions are easy for an auditory learner to follow.
Although an auditory learning has many advantages, students with this strength may find themselves reading out loud to retain written information. Some will catch themselves moving their lips in silence while reading. If you retain information from audio books, are good at explaining, remember verbal directions easily, and read slowly – auditory learning is one of your strong points.
The Kinesthetic Yoga Student: This student learns by doing. The feel, touch, and experience of an event, gives this student firsthand knowledge to perform better next time. With experience, this student becomes exceptional at Yoga and any other hands-on activity.
Therefore, physical or mental practice makes the kinesthetic learning student much better over time. A physical assist is most beneficial to a Kinesthetic Yoga Student.
Kinesthetic learning has a distinct advantage, as the student continues to experience Yoga through steady practice. If you use your hands to express yourself, and easily develop athletic skills – kinesthetic learning is likely to be one of your strengths.
Students, and teachers of Yoga, can benefit by understanding the differences in each of these three learning traits. When teaching groups of people, instructors should address the senses of sight, sound, and touch, throughout the class.
© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
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