As we continued to discuss the details of teaching yoga, we began to integrate our prior lessons. We had the opportunity to discuss the philosophy of teaching yoga specifically with Adri's teacher Wanda. We discussed the various components, observational, intellectual, emotional, and educational, that go into teaching a class.
Students also had the opportunity to see in what ways Adri and Wanda are the same, and in what ways they are very different teachers. We discussed how the same foundations may manifest differently in each individual teacher, and how we can best use our own personal teaching perspective to form our teaching voice.
Later we started to tie our prior philosophy knowledge in with our Modern Postural Yoga practice. We reviewed the Yoga Sutras and discussed how key ideas might be explored in the context of a modern practice. We also reviewed some passages from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Yoga Teaching Techniques and Learning Styles
Now that we'd developed a philosophical foundation to our yoga teaching, and a methodology for education, we were ready to start really getting into the meat of teaching.
Before examining the many types of props available, students began discussing creative uses of props in yoga instruction.
While many students understand how props used to assist students into a full expression of a pose that may be physically challenging, students began to evaluate the use of props for additional purposes, such as illustrating a point to a student who learns more concretely with a tactile experience or visual illustration.
For example, students examined types of strap connectors and evaluated them on the basis of ease of use, time for in-class instruction, and durability and hold. Bolsters and blocks were evaluated for structural stability, shape, tactile experience, and size.
Students also discussed ways to modify poses without using traditional props by using common household items or things commonly found in a gym or school environment.
Following props, we moved on to verbal instruction and physical adjustment. We examined some of the different opinions and different styles of each, and discussed the pros and cons from a differentiated instruction and brain-based learning perspective. We discussed how we might determine which method would best reach a student, and what types of things to look for in observation that would give you clues about a given student's learning style preferences.
Students then finally began developing their teaching voice based on their knowledge, interests, and personal perspective to date. Students began by designing short sequences around themes and anatomical points of focus of their choice, and started teaching them to each other to practice verbal instruction, modification, correction, and using the space. Before moving on to Yoga Professionalism, students were introduced to the emerging field of Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda.