Yoga teacher trainingBy Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Whether you teach Yoga, or not, there are a few methods to help you get the most out of your experience at a seminar, retreat, or an intensive training. When planning to attend any kind of Yoga intensive, here are a few tips to help you get the most from your learning experience.

Make eye contact with the instructor – especially when she or he is talking. This may seem obvious, but for some of us, it has been decades since we attended school or college. Not only is eye contact a genuine sign of interest, but it helps you learn visually, as well.

Audio learning is beneficial, but when you combine listening with visual learning, you have a better chance of learning. It is impossible to listen and talk at the same time. For this reason, keep talking to a minimum, unless you have an important question.

It goes without saying that electronic devices can be a distraction. Some people sit through lectures while text messaging everyone who is not present. Not only is text messaging disrespectful, but you are having mental conversations about a variety of subjects, which make it impossible to comprehend new ideas in the present moment.

For the above-mentioned reasons, the use of electronic devices is often discouraged at Yoga retreats. If you have permission to carry an electronic device, a digital recorder would be a very useful learning tool. The value of recording information cannot be overstated; for this reason, it is always wise to carry a notebook. Although it is “old-fashioned” to write things down by hand, it is guaranteed not to be a distraction to your attention or those around you.

When you ask questions, think them through carefully, before stating them out loud. Unfortunately, we have all seen the one student, in the crowd, who disagrees with the lecturer and, who, unwittingly, stirs up controversy. Although we might see these things more often in an academic setting, they also occur at Yoga teacher trainings, retreats, and Yoga intensives.

I remember attending an intensive at an ashram and seeing the beginnings of a husband and wife spat. At the time, the guest lecturer stifled the argument and asked the couple if they wanted to settle their domestic dispute outside. I’m sure that some of the students, in attendance, had been surprised to see the “strong-motherly side” of the guest lecturer, however, her action was absolutely necessary. Bad behavior cannot continue unchecked.

On the other hand, I have seen a Yoga intern turn a Yoga teacher training, upside down, from the very beginning. Eventually, the instructor managed to re-establish control, but this was not before the disgruntled intern had attempted to divide the entire training into factions.

Although these situations may sound unique, it must be remembered that people are only human; and sometimes, we make mistakes. With that said, when you ask questions at a Yoga teacher training intensive, be careful not to create bad feelings, if you disagree with the lecturer.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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