Teaching Methodology

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The practice of the pure intention. We assist and reaffirm, we do not correct, in this way, we promote confidence in the student’s process. We give the verbal instructions first, then the manual adjustments are easier; we give verbal instructions and if the student needs those manual adjustments, then we act.
Does the student want to be touched? In our position as teachers, we have access to their intimacy and we do not know how he or she feels that particular day with his or her body. You must centre yourself and have a very clear idea of what you are going to do before touching your student. You must feel it in yourself first, generate a physical centre in your mind.
How to act?
The performance may follow the general flow of the muscular or organic energy.
A) Integrative: from place of origin to place of insertion.
B) Expansive: from place of insertion to place of origin.
Create a great connection:

  • From heart to heart with mental purity.
  • Ask before touching if it is a new student.
  • Indicate that we are going to do the manual adjustments if it is a new group.

Types of touch We use “liquid hand” where the contact is direct from the centre of the palm, called palmar Bindu, improving our capacity to feel more of what is happening in the student’s body.

  • Investigative: we use it to check a part which is not evident, for example: with somebody with loose trousers.
  • Directional: so that that person becomes aware of that part of his body giving a direction, giving a caress showing the direction.
  • Alert: to bring attention to a certain area.
  • Adjustment: rotating the person: from, towards and up to the skeleton.
  • Stabilising: helping to improve balance, postures where the students are not comfortable.
  • Affectionate: a small slap on the shoulder, from time to time, express well done & recognising the effort.
  • Sensual: to brush, to caress, to tickle is inappropriate, may generate confusion in the student.
  • Invasive: erogenous areas is unacceptable, inappropriate and not ethical, in some countries like the USA it is liable for denounce

Study guide Attitude, Alignment and Adjustment.

Practice manual adjustments with a friend. How was your attitude? how did you find manual adjusting? How did you use each of the three A’s to bring quality to your manual adjustment?


PART ONE: Attitude “The why” why to teach

The Intention. In such a way that they honour the primordial quest which may align myself with something superior to myself. The base is the site where my attention is seated and from where I may lead my practice to that place of internal revelation. To align the breath as the body of the Spirit – The free breath breathes itself, we become more sensitive to the pulsation of life within ourselves, to move following the breath, allowing that the breath “ leads” the path, that the breath creates the pace for the movement, movement as a way to express your highest intentions using the internal body, softening the skin.

The reason for practising. Adjust the students orally and at the same time direct them to the place of the heart and ask them : “Why? Where are we going?” Our highest purpose is to go where we express ourselves at a sublime level. We might degenerate into a purely physical practice, the way of practising Hatha Yoga many times is only a programme of exercises and the key is which is the highest intention, but you are the teacher, it is you who must tell them the reason for practising, you should be able to do it with your presence, from your integrity, you should transmit this to your students. Knowing how to verbalize this is part of your training as a teacher, teaching Yoga is an incredible and spectacular Art, we use biomechanical principles, but it is more than that. You must not go over the highest integrity of this practice: 1h 26min.
For the sake of an awakening of the spirit. Teach your class with the highest purpose, It does not matter how complex your knowledge of the human body may be, the subtle energy, etc….make a pause and invite your students ¡to feel! Like teachers, even though we do not make the asanas, it is important that we walk among them, check how we sit down, because they have ourselves as models, how we express a radiant and balanced pose generating beauty: this is the purpose of this practice.

Self-esteem. Should you feel afraid while teaching a class, you must remember that the class is not for you, but for the students. This helps you to connect with the spirit of service and dedication and leave aside the “I” who is frightened. When we give instructions for an adjustment, even if the student seems very arrogant, he will probably be thinking for himself: ”Well, I knew I was doing this pose wrong! I can never do this pose correctly! So, what could we do in order to give her/him some basic adjustments without the need of a great opening? It is quite easy to see others, but we need to learn to look at ourselves. How does it feel this adjustment? How does it feel in oneself? Always without being too hard with ourselves.

PART TWO: ALIGNMENT “ the how” adjustments and direction

Connect see the goodness. Transmit adjustments in such a way that you may perceive them favourably. Exercise generates space, you should have an eagle vision, see what is good. Cultivate the practice of seeing others from the interior light in spite of only looking at small non-alignments, see the big picture, see the goodness, we have 30 seconds to give the students the key instructions which will help them in a favourable way. Strength, distribution, an open heart. The more details we gather, the more knowledge we have, the mind will create more separation, because that is the function of the mind: discriminating, finding the details, finding the differences, but the heart will always create this sense of connection. The mind always looks for what it considers “wrong”, what needs to be “corrected”. We do not focus ourselves in “corrections”, as this means that “something is wrong!”. It is better to say: “This is right!” and could be promoted to be even better.
HOW TO ADJUST. When we adjust a student, sometimes we dont go to the key area. The base of the pose is indeed a key area, the hips are key, to align the focal centers is key, to respect the muscular energy and to protect the integrity of the asana. Look at the general form of the asana and from there, within a few seconds, decide on one or two elements where you can move the student deeper. How can I help the entire group with an adjustment? When I give a student one point of adjustment, it must be the essential point that I want the student to assimilate, allowing them to connect with the asana, creating more opening from the inside.

  • Working from the base usually the bases can be improved, this is where we must direct our attention when we want to improve a pose. Teachers who have more information tend to forget the bases: if everyone does the bases well, everyone will enjoy the class.
  • Therapy. If we are able to respect the principles of body mechanics in such a way that the student assimilates them completely we are creating a therapeutic class. Present the principles and make sure that the student understands and practices them, as the student trusts us so that he can see it and we give them the power by honoring their limitations, modifying the poses according to their needs. Knowing how to vary the asana or use support material is part of your training.
  • Respect the direction of muscle tone to protect the integrity of the asana, see the general shape of the asana and from that mold in seconds decide one or two elements to deepen.
  • Dynamic symmetry of the form, The front leg tends to take all the work, the back leg tends to collapse and sleep, raises the back leg bringing the English back, bends the front and integrates the coccyx, that is the place of the center, where we find the Balance. Usually we have a weaker side than another and to create balance we must create isometric equilibrium.
  • Compare the Adjustments. When you adjust somebody, check that the person has assimilated the instruction. Next time you repeat that instruction, observe if the person does it adequately. This promotes your sensitivity and gives your student the feeling they are being properly attended to.

PART three: ACTION “The for what” empower your instructions

ACTIVE AND PASSIVE – CONSCIOUS VERBALIZATION. Appropriate offerings of active and passive language in the teaching make your teachings much more powerful.
For example: “Involve your legs, from your legs to your hips”, as opposite to: “Feel the muscles moving up towards your hips.”
When the word “feel” is a passive instruction, reflect, become aware, pause and reflect; in the beginning you do not want them to be passive, you want to direct them, you want to take the lead.
If you tell the student: “Feel the energy moving along your body”…but which direction?, which energy?, what do you mean? Maybe they can feel it, but that is not a directive instruction.
In general, we give active instructions and from there, passive instructions. You must practice the conscious verbalization of active and passive instructions so that it will become your natural way of giving instructions.

CONCATENATE WITH IMAGINATION. The way to link your instructions with other instructions is much more effective if they are refined and clear and not if they are structural instructions, dry, without feeling and full of esoteric instructions which nobody can apply.
You hold one thing while you go to another, and that way of concatenating instructions allows the student to enjoy the experience. The majority of yoga teachers, no matter which method they teach, tend to give separate instructions while if you link instructions it is much more effective and feels like a global experience.
Example of direction in instruction
From the feet, bring energy to the hip and maintaining that stability it finds your inner freedom through the internal rotation of the thighs, from the soles to the legs, from that opening, keeping the hips wide, the coccyx enters. ”

Study Guide
. Create the mental space and watch the big picture with amplitude. When you watch the big picture you think: “What could I do to promote this and make it better?, we look at the bases and possibly we could improve the width of the posture; when we have more space energy is more open, the pose becomes even more beautiful, promote beauty.
Self quiz, create a growth and research environment where exploring within the asana is welcome, use positive metaphors to stimulate the active participation of your student. Take note of your result.