Published on February 19th, 2018 | by Catherine Tingey0
The Art of 1:1 Teaching
The Art of 1:1 Teaching
Did you know that yoga was traditionally taught privately? 1 teacher, 1 student.
The group yoga class, while instrumental in making yoga mainstream, is a totally modern phenomenon.
Don’t get me wrong; I love attending group classes and I have regularly for the past 25 years. I especially like going to teachers I don’t know, and I always get excited when I meet very young teachers with great promise. That makes me really happy.
I also routinely recommend teachers in the community, some of whom I’ve profiled on this website, to my clients looking for group classes.
But this morning, I went to a new class with a well-regarded teacher and he did so many things that I think teachers of any kind should never do, that it begs this post.
Emphasizing the positive, I’ll just list 5 Simple Do’s:
- Watch & Observe Your Students Closely–Don’t adhere so closely to the script in your head that you’re a pacing windup toy yapping at the air. This is not teaching.
- Love Your Students But Don’t Touch Them–It goes without saying that making snippy remarks at a student’s expense to appear entertaining are a major no-no. Also, please don’t touch people you don’t know. Or walk up to them and make a loud mouth popping sound as you adjust them.
- Stay After Class and Get To Know Your Students–Don’t rush onto the next thing. That’s exactly the opposite of what you’ve been teaching — the fine art of paying attention.
- Remember, It’s Not About You–Keeping your focus on others does two very important things: 1) keeps you in the present and out of your own head, and 2) able to respond to the unexpected and suggest modifications, improvise or teach a customized class to the students that show up that day, instead of what you had planned. In short, it keeps you in the moment.
- Be Sensitive to Injuries and Confidentiality–Not everyone is comfortable with their injuries or limitations broadcast to the class.
Now, let me be clear:
I’m certainly not the most learned yoga teacher in the world (I cannot read or write Sanskrit).
I don’t have the most technically advanced yoga practice (No advanced arm balances).
I’m probably not the most ‘spiritual’ (if spirituality were somehow measureable).
And I’m not the most famous.
But I am really good at working with people.
I believe you have to fundamentally enjoy/like/love other human beings in order to have a people-centered business.
And many of my clients have stayed with me since the day I opened. I’m very proud of that.
Some recent testimonials warm my heart:
“Catherine comes to our home once a week now with positive energy that fills our home. She is attentive to our needs and pain points and caters the exercise to our mind and body conditions.”
“She is lovely, gracious, soft-spoken and well-grounded. She listens to your story and plans the session around what she thinks will serve you well. Her words and actions are well-chosen and appropriate to the moment, depending on your mood and energy. She becomes your friend and encourages you to be the best you can be. You will love the experience of having her as your instructor.”
“Over time she has been a teacher, friend and source of comfort. The 90 minute session we have each week somehow manages to be calming and vigorous at the same time. Given some physical limitations Catherine will often have us doing different exercises in the same session, and at no point do you feel like you have anything other than her total focus on yourself.”
“One thing she does that no other instructor does is she spends a lot of time getting to know her clients and makes detailed notes about their goals so she can specifically tailor the sessions to your individual needs.”
If you are interested in learning yoga privately, feel free to reach out to me via email, phone or my contact page.
If I can’t help you, I can probably refer you to someone who can.