Yogic Methodology: When thinking about Yogic Methodology, there are two kinds that come to mind. One is the application of מורת יוגה techniques to daily life, and the other is Yoga teaching methodology. Competent Yoga teachers should thoroughly know both.
When considering the application of Hatha Yoga techniques to daily life, we know that Yoga will change a student’s health for the best and improve his or her lifestyle, but it must be gradual. The mind, body, and spirit will not change much in a month, but a year of regular Hatha Yoga practice will yield some significant health changes.
How many Yoga students want an instant life change? Too many – and this is why we should not make unrealistic promises. It is up to the Yoga student to take action, come to classes regularly, and practice what you have taught in your Hatha Yoga classes. It is up to the Hatha Yoga teacher to fill the student’s mind with knowledge and encouragement.
If it took decades of neglect for a new student to achieve poor health, how can he or she expect a little bit of Hatha Yoga practice to perform miracles? Every aspect of a student’s health will be changed for the better by regular Yoga practice; but this is an “on demand” world, where some people are willing to risk the side-effects of a pill rather than take positive action toward better health.
The natural effects of regular exercise, proper breathing, better posture, improved diet, and self-discipline will result in a Yoga student who is less stressed, has fewer ailments, lives longer, and sleeps better.
When a Yoga student continues to make Hatha Yoga a part of his or her life for years – the true value of good health will be felt and seen. This same student will most likely practice Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Raja Yoga or other forms of Yoga “down the road.” The benefits of Yoga, in any form, will cause a student to go deeper into his or her personal Yoga practice.
Student corrections, in regard to Yoga techniques, should be straight to the point; but every Yoga teacher should take care to be tactful in the process. Yoga students come to you for guidance, so keep your ego “in check.” A few “rogue” Yoga teachers, who are gruff and condescending, can ruin any student’s desire to continue practicing Yoga.
What are the qualities of a good Yoga teacher? There are many, but being able to spot students in need, and still show compassion, is very important. Being able to teach any student is another strong trait. The realization that each Yoga student is uniquely different from each other, and cannot be “cloned,” is a milestone in teaching.
Demonstrating and correcting Yoga techniques is only part of the job when teaching Yoga classes. A successful Yoga teacher must communicate with all students throughout the class, and keep the passion for Yoga going.