Teaching with the Hands & Voice

In the Ashtanga Vinyasa system the primary style of study as taught by Master Teacher Pattabhi Jois at his Indian yoga shala (school) in Mysore, India is called “Mysore practice”. In these classes students practice in the room with the teacher but there is very little verbal instruction. Students are expected to have their sequence memorized. The teacher is available to give hands on assistance and advice, much like a private class in a group class situation. In week twelve of our Teacher Training we have begun studying how to assist with the hands as well as teaching with the voice.

Teaching with the voice is the more common way to conduct a class and certainly the most direct way to share information. Just as practicing the yoga postures is necessary in order to become proficient in their execution, so practice teaching with the voice is a necessary requirement in the training of a yoga instructor. Initially there is some hesitation, over time one develops confidence.

Here are some photos of our group in their practice.

Sanskrit Quiz!

In the fifth weekend of our Teacher Training Intensive the students were given a quiz on the Sanskrit terms necessary to understand in identifying the asanas (postures). Sanskrit is a beautiful language, like Latin, in that it is the origin of other languages. In India, Sanskrit is known as “the language of the Gods”.

There are several major schools of Yoga coming from India. Most of the schools have similar postures but call them by different names. This makes for some confusion when discussing asanas. As well, in different regions in India they tend to shorten part of the pronunciation, asana becomes asan. This shifts the accent of the word; “Ut ta NA sa na” becomes “Ut TAN a san”.

Since our Training emphasizes the work of Krishnamacharya, the names of the postures tend to be the same however the pronunciations can be different. As students and practitioners of yoga it is important to stay flexible in the mind. ears, and tongue, as well as cultivating flexibility in the body!

Yoganic Teacher Training 2008

In early June we began the journey of a 200 hour Teacher Training Intensive which will be continuing through December. There are eight very talented candidates, and since the group is intimate, it will be a wonderful opportunity to train and mentor each of them closely. The understanding of Ashtanga Yoga as an Eight Limb path developed by the ancient Rishi Patanjali will be an integral aspect of this training. In the photos below, we begin the practice of teaching with the voice. Stay tuned for the highlights of the course.