I've been teaching for a few years, and I occasionally get feedback that I'm not sure how to process because it's seems to be based on clinging to personal preference. I found this article very useful.
These are all interesting points but we encounter these in any instructtional or commercial fitness setting. It is not simply a matter of "East-West" differences! The world is a lot more heterogenous now and the West is not just steeped in the Socratic method either. Yes, I do find a lot of yoga instructors in the US talk too much during instructional sessions. This is because "yoga" is taught like an aerobics/calisthenics session and we are trying to motivate/exhort our students as in a workout session. Instructors must be empathetic to differences in taste when it comes to music selections. Silence is an essential part of yogic practice also.
I couldn't agree more with the comments about yoga teachers talking way too much - this is not teaching, but more like sermonizing and gets in the way of going within. I particularly don't care for teachers who abuse their position of power by expounding on their personal political viewpoints. But it makes sense when you consider that much of yoga in our culture also includes non-stop music (even through savasana) and blasting heat when it's not cold enough outside to require it. My favorite teachers don't do a lot of talk or play music and they allow the room to stay at "room temperature" - what a concept! The focus is on students finding their own relationship to the asanas, the pranayama and the meditation. I think teachers often talk too much because of their egos or because they're nervous. Most teachers could improve 100% by cutting their patter in half.
I studied Yoga in the 70's and 80's. The sessions were all about the students and their deepening process of connecting and working the body and bodymind. The teachers were FACILITATING that process - not TEACHING. Every word the teacher said was meant to enhance the student's work on their postures.
Google "do yoga teachers talk too much?" and you come up with thousands of links. THOUSANDS.
There is an undertone of inauthentic authenticity when I hear yoga teachers talk and talk and talk. They are not enhancing the student's process -- that could be done with a FRACTION of the words being used.
Stop teaching and start facilitating. PLEASE.
Pleasantly well written and thoughtful.
As a Yoga teacher it is always reasuring to hear from people who have experienced the same unnerving situations as I have. I began by teaching in senior centers. I found that if I didn't keep the students ingaged by talking to them (continuously) they would literally loose interest in a matter of minutes and wonder off. Or even worse, fall asleep.
Thank you for this wisdom. I just finished my teacher training and presented a final piece that really came from my heart. I believe it went so well BECAUSE it came from such faith and heart. But I have been nervous that maybe it would be over the top for my students when I start teaching. I read your article and think that if something is coming through me in a certain way then I need to go with it and allow it to flow!
I think this is a helpful and well balanced article as it covers all angles. Sometimes teachers do get enormous egos but this doesn't mean the content of what they are teaching is wrong. As both a student and teacher I feel self enquiry is important as to why we are reacting- i have been on both sides of the fence. However, if the style is really agrivating that may stop the message going in altogether and a student needs to discover their own truth and follow the intuition, just as the teacher does. A teacher I admire VasuDeva once said Namaste (palms touching over heart)- student and teacher are equal - or they do not join (placing one palm above the other)
I want to learn more about yoga helping teach me mind spiritualy-
Thank you for your insight, I teach and talk, bringing in spiritual principles and leading students to think beyond the physical and once in a while the feedback I get is that I talk too much. But like you that is my nature, I have been told I also inspire and keep students for drifting into sleep and dull mind. So I am slowly learning to not take the feedback t heart, I consider it, and I have actually curbed some of the talk, but I feel a moral obligation to the integrity of the deeper meaning of yoga to lead people to deeper contemplation. Thanks for sharing with us. Namaste.