What Students Really Think about Demos

Part 3 of a three-part series I have my own take on demos. But what about others? I was especially curious about students’ preferences—namely, those who aren’t teachers. So, I surveyed 20 or 25 of my own students. They vary in age, gender, and experience. I included those who are new to yoga, but targeted…… Continue reading What Students Really Think about Demos

Teaching Style: Further Thoughts on Demos and Pace

Part 2 of a three-part series Some argue that the demo method turns off younger students because it’s slower paced. Occasionally I hear “directives” from Iyengar yoga associations that teaching should be more dynamic—more jumping around and tricky poses—to attract young people. On one hand, this idea makes sense. Twentysomethings are generally healthy and eager…… Continue reading Teaching Style: Further Thoughts on Demos and Pace

The Demo Method

Part 1 of a three-part series Ever taken an Iyengar yoga class? If yes, you’re probably watched a yoga “demo,” short for demonstration. Teacher performs pose, step-by-step, with verbal instructions. Students watch and then try the pose themselves. What’s your opinion of the demo method of teaching? Last year, I very belatedly read Lois Steinberg’s…… Continue reading The Demo Method

Asana and “Direct Experience”

Part 3 of a three-part series I have a love-hate relationship with writing. It was excruciating to write this blog post. I procrastinated. I started and stopped. I killed time watching the Olympics. I deleted hard-won paragraphs that ultimately didn’t fit. I took breaks to watch Ted Lasso. I might not have finished if I…… Continue reading Asana and “Direct Experience”

A critical teacher

Why are your feet apart? You’re only halfway. Bend your knees more! Lift your chest! Lift! I received these corrections (and more) from Chris Saudek during her recent workshop in Victoria. I wasn’t surprised. I’d met this master Iyengar yoga teacher at three prior workshops, and I expected sharp feedback. She doesn’t miss a thing,…… Continue reading A critical teacher

The Inner Game of Yoga

I don’t play golf, but I recently read W Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Golf (1981). A few years ago, I read his classic The Inner Game of Tennis (1974), a favorite among top coaches including Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll. I don’t play tennis either, but I’m interested in Gallwey’s theories on learning and peak…… Continue reading The Inner Game of Yoga

No offense!

Once, I offended a yoga student by adjusting her leg with my foot. I was teaching Supta Padangusthasana 1: While adjusting her raised leg, I noticed her supine leg flopping outward. Since I was standing, I used my foot to inwardly rotate and ground her thigh, while I simultaneously reminded all students to perform these…… Continue reading No offense!

Yoga with Abhijata and a thousand classmates

I try to avoid formal gatherings, red-eye flights, checked baggage, and yoga classes too large to allow eye contact with the teacher. But I was curious about the 2016 Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States convention in Boca Raton. I wanted to experience the teaching of Geeta Iyengar, who didn’t teach during my August 2014 trip to Pune. When she had…… Continue reading Yoga with Abhijata and a thousand classmates

Checklists and Iyengar yoga

To do list written on paper with blue pen

For my new volunteer job as “certification mark registrar” for the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada, I must obtain signed contracts from newly certified teachers. Sending out forms and getting them back. How difficult can this be? Well, in my first batches of contracts, only half were done properly. Many were missing required elements, such as witness’s signature or street…… Continue reading Checklists and Iyengar yoga