Week 3: Poetic Language
"The divine in me greets the divine in you."
One of the things I love about yoga is the poetic language. It's not like yoga teachers are using words other than English (okay - maybe when they are using the Sanskrit name for a pose) but it is how they are using words. It is the flow, the sounds, and the feeling they are able to invoke. It is amazing!
Striving to be a teacher one day, it dawned on me that I too will need to be able to do this in a class. Now what I currently do, as an exercise physiologist and group fitness leader, is different in a sense as I typically use my voice and word choices to invoke intensity, effort, and energy. Whereas in yoga, it's different. Maybe peaceful is the way to describe it?
It also just dawned on me that cueing in yoga requires more thought...or at least it seems like that to me now. The cues are not only about alignment and proper position (which I love! Yay biomechanics!) but it is also about the breath - inhale and exhale at the right movements - and highlighting the inherent benefit of doing the pose a certain way at the time of actually doing the pose. Again, it's different and not something I provide when describing a resistance training exercise to a client. I suppose that is more mechanical and direct.
For example, in Triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana), we stand with one foot forward and the other at a 45 degree angle behind (alignment cue), inhale to fill out the pose with arms lifted at the sides to shoulder height, exhale and fill out the pose while lowering the body and placing front arm on the ground (breath cue). Remembering to lengthen the side body to allow space in the ribs and thus, assist with proper breath (benefit cue) Yikes! That is a lot to say about what I would think is a simple body movement. But it all needs to be there!
By the way, I love Triangle pose!
So note to self, being a great yoga teacher requires good communication skills, a relatively large vocabulary of descriptive words and the ability to convey a feeling that the pose should invoke.
I've got my work cut out for me!
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.