I have to tell you… I am actually not a teacher; I am a student!
I’d tell you why I prefer to be a student. Student benefits rock, and you should not miss out on them too. Want to improve your yoga practice? I discovered how to learn yoga for free!
The other day, a man came to practice in my class. He had shared about a tight IT band issue. I offered some variations to help him in his practice. I noticed that for some of the asanas, instead of taking up what I had offered, he started to make his own variations, which were innovative and new to me, and he looked completely comfortable while practising them. We had a chat afterwards, and I learned so much about IT bands! He had lived with it for years. He had read a lot of articles, researched strength and stretch exercises, and experimented with them on his body, and knew what worked and what didn’t. He was quite the expert on IT bands. I exchanged notes with him and we both left the conversation with more knowledge about this condition.
At the studios, they call me a yoga teacher, but I am a perpetual student! I learn a lot from my interactions with others daily. I improve my practice and my teaching, and its all grounded on evidence and real people with their unique bodies.
Want to improve your yoga practice and without any course fee? Ready to sign up?
I am going to tell you how to apply this!
It goes back to mindfulness.
… … …
Listen with curiosity and an open learning mind.
1. Ask someone what they enjoy doing (keep it general or specific – it can be on their yoga practice or health regimen, or anything else!).
2. Listen keenly and let the person do most of the talking. Resist temptation to comment, layer on your interpretation or examples from your own experience.
3. Really, just listen, and let the conversation and your curiosity about the topic lead you into the topic. Ask the “how”, the “why” and all relevant questions to explore the topic as if you’re preparing for an exam! If you have doubts, challenge and query further.
4. After that, immediately make notes about the one main thing that you’ve learnt from that conversation.
Being a “student” simply means bringing consciousness and an inquiring mind into everything that we do. It is about bringing yoga into our workaday lives. In the midst of a challenging project and looming deadline, take a pause, observe yourself, ask yourself what you are learning from the process.
So this month, I challenge you to treat everyone around you as study mates. Be open and present to what you might be learning from your bosses, your staff, your interns, your clients.
It’s exciting! Do tell me what you’ve learned from this month!
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