When studying something there are many modes of practice. For some it is the read, read, read, absorb and regurgitate. Others it is listen, listen, listen... reiterate. For some it is watch, watch, watch... react. For me... it appears it is a combination of all of these formats. Although if I were to pick one that was the strongest connection it would be the watching and visualizing. As we go through teaching poses in our daily classes, one comment that comes up time and time again is to make sure we are not just learning from the instructions (but that is important at this early point in the game of our teachings) but watching what our students are doing and bring yoga to the floor... rather than from a page in the manual.
Yes, by all means we can regurgitate what information we see in front of us, but when we “apply” it to what’s happening at the moment... that’s when true magic happens. Learning a pose, dissecting the pose, intersecting the pose, flowing with the pose... and breath. It is a masterpiece of taking the guidelines and teachings and now applying to how we “feel” about yoga in our interactions with our students as instructors of this ancient and ever-expanding practice.
When I teach Reiki to students one of the most important principles of the practice of teaching is that I will teach it the way I was taught as was the way my teacher was taught and so on. BUT I will add in my adaptations that work for me in my practices and evolution of the art of Reiki. As teachers going out into the world I make sure that everyone makes it their own practice to make this their own. Move with the energy, feel the energy, but remember to always connect with the one... YOU... and how this energy makes you feel.
There is a moment before each class as I stand before the students where I close my eyes and envision and effortless, safe and enjoyable practice. I connect with my inner self and with each person in front of me and I allow energy to flow. Sometimes I get in my own way and my mind takes over... “do it this way, you forgot that, don’t forget this, you’re rushing... AND BREATH!” For goodness' sake... get out of your own way boy... let it flow... these amazing people in front of you are there to feel you energy or they would have gone to see Mahatma Goontha Guru down the street.
As Shakti (my teacher) says, “you as a teacher holds the space.” We, as teachers, set the stage for this amazing performance to take place in. Take away the judgement, take away the ego and bring yoga to the floor rather than to your head. And for all the tea in China... have fun!
(the amazing photo above comes from the Yoga Lovin site... check it out and enjoy!)