My Views Your Views

After writing the post yesterday about not liking to wake up at 5am, I awoke today at 4:30am before my alarm went off.  I was wide awake,  felt fully rested and ready for the day.  Go figure!

3 classes this morning and I’m not needing a nap after lunch.  It dawned on me that I did not eat properly yesterday.  Skipped my juice because I chose to snooze another 15 minutes.  Bad idea!  I then remember a comment a teacher I took class from those several weeks back.   It was great class and I loved the teacher, but at the end of the class the teacher mentioned they were still accepting food donations for their food drive.  Cool, right?  I was a little taken off guard when he politely said, “of course only vegetarian food items please.” I wasn’t offended nor do I have any strong feelings against vegetarians or any type of “tarians.”  I was a vegetarian for two years.  It worked great for the first year and half or so but I recently “switched” back because my body starting changing in so many ways that my diet was no longer making me healthy.

It was this shift in my body that got me thinking more about his comment.  As teachers (of any sort), I feel we have to be extra aware of the messages we send and the things we say.  Sometimes we say things like what that teacher said that can be perceived as “I only support vegetarians” or whatever your little brain starts to filter out.  I start to think again and wonder if someone who needs food is going to be picky about whether it’s vegetarian or not?  Well I guess that’s besides the issue…

My challenge these past few weeks has been around how I am projecting my personal values, philosophies, etc when I’m teaching.  I’ve gotten so caught up in it that I have stopped “preaching” altogether what people may think of as “new agey” stuff.  I’ve been focusing mainly on asana and keeping people focused on their bodies.  I’ve gotten mixed feedback.  Many of the students have been beaming with happiness and giving me great feedback after class.  They’ve raved about how great the class was.  The funny thing is it’s the same standard sequence I always do.  What’s the difference?  More silence.  The feedback I’ve gotten from teachers is that I’ve apparently started to appear less personal and not showing my “true” self.

I’m confused.

I’ve also noticed the trend in the “preaching” that teachers do.  It’s all canned one-liners or some cliche phrase or quote.  After hearing them in my head and hearing myself saying them, I’m sick of them.  I wonder if students notice these too.

I continue to learn.  There’s always something new to discover about the self.  And maybe since I’m teaching 15! classes, I’ll discover something sooner!

Until then, I challenge you to take a look at how you unconsciously try to push your values or philosophies onto others.

image: cartoonstock.com

8 thoughts on “My Views Your Views

  1. Hi Nikki,

    I like people who lead by example. Somehow, I tend to resist when people start preaching at me.
    You made me realize I shouldn’t preach about yoga to others. I should simply let them see in me how yoga has affected me in a positive way.

  2. Great post Nikki. I don’t like to be preached at, so I don’t preach. I like to learn new stories of the Hindu Gods, why a pose is called a certain thing or even a new thing about anatomy. However, when I am in the mood to be quiet and introspective, a teacher could talk about car mechanics and I wouldn’t care/notice. So I wonder if while I am tuning out all of the “stuff” that comes with some teachers, are my students doing the same to me? I have also found myself allowing them a lot more quiet time. I don’t think talking through the entire class means you are a better teacher, that’s for sure. It’s like trying to show how much you know in one hour.

  3. I tend to teach all my classes + one-to-ones from an antomical perspective, unless I am specfiically asked otherwise. If that neans I’m not a ‘real’ yoga teacher then so be it. 😉 Personally I think anatomical awareness brings deepp focus.

    As for vegetarian food, well the only time I mention it is when I’m teaching an all day workshop where eberyone brings lunch to share. Veggie is just easier + cheaper.

  4. oh boy 😉 this was a good one (post) – also thanks to the link to magazine of yoga in the post before me – i’m gonna just leave it at that and let this blog post soak into me, wow! really…

    • That article is WOW, right?! Thanks for visiting my blog! I just saw your website and love your work! Read some of your poems and you should write one on yoga teachers 🙂 You wanna do a guest post? 🙂

      • thank you twice over 😉

        i do plan to do some yoga poems relatively soon (this year) but need to work my way into them a bit

        and a guest post? now there’s another wow (my prev was definitely for your article) – my initial response is no way not yet huh? and my second response is, the karma gates open on their own time frames, so i should seriously give it a shot – how ’bout i work something short up and send it to you and see what you think (maybe re meditation art & fitness?)

    • THANK YOU for sharing this article! I am still trying to pick up my jaw off the ground. I’ve heard about Jill Miller but never really checked her out. I love what she has to say, “What I’ve never understood is how teachers who use “too much” anatomy in their classes are often called inauthentic and unspiritual. I’ve always found it curious why in many circles latin names are frowned upon, and Sanskrit names revered?” This makes everything clear as mud now 🙂 But it’s much needed to question things and be in inquiry.

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