For the past two weeks, I’ve been immersed in a 200-hour yoga teacher training intensive. This weekend we have our teaching finals: we must teach a segment of a class.
You might think this would be easy after 2 weeks of living and breathing yoga. Buts it’s actually quite difficult.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.
I hate this saying because it minimizes the difficulty of teaching.
You can be great at something, but if you can’t communicate to someone else how to do it, then they won’t be able to do it.
Practicing the on-the-mat yoga poses can be enough of a challenge some days.
Even if you are great at getting into all the shapes, directing someone with your language poses its own challenges.
You must be able to clearly direct a person how to get into that position from where they are.
This is especially difficult if the person is new to yoga. A beginner has no reference for the poses and doesn’t share the language of yoga. You can’t shortcut by naming the pose and expect her to find it for herself.
Instead, you must give clear, step-by-step directions.
Imagine trying to teach someone to walk if they had no frame of reference for what it means to stand up. It would be difficult.
There’s a skill in breaking down what you do into component parts and communicating that to someone else in a way that makes sense to them, so that they can take the action you want them to take.
It’s not as easy as it might seem.