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  • Learning from you

    I have some students in my class that have reached me via another teacher. Recently, when I revealed that the teacher had learnt a lot from them they expressed surprise. But it is true, every teacher who is open to learning learns from their students.

    For example, I learnt from one that if I want crispy bacon I should try dry-cured bacon. Obviously, as a yogi I feel I should follow the Yamas and practice Ahimsa ( non-violence) and be vegetarian but I find that being completely vegetarian does not suit my body.

    Apart from discussions about bacon after class there are many other things that a teacher can learn from the class. There are the difficult lessons that are learnt when no one comes to the class. There are the lessons that we learn about ourselves when we negotiate fees with students and the rent we pay for the rooms we use.

    We learn from the students that praise us highly but never return. The students that look like they will never return but become regulars. The students that you wish as a teacher had not set foot in your class, and the ones that you wish would come to every class.

    And then there are the bodies they bring, stiff in places you are not. Students that are more flexible or strong than the teacher. Students who are over protective of their bodies and those who are not careful enough, and ignore every warning you give.

    Coming to yoga at a young age most of my students are older than me and I learn about the process and effects of aging on them. About the effect of illnesses and diseases I may never experience, Parkinsons, cancer, arthitis, heart disease. All of these experiences are brought into the class and to the teacher, not always openly.

    Plus there are the aspects of people that others, outside of the class, may never see, tattoos that peek out of sleeves, above trouser tops and below trouser bottoms, they all tell a story.

    So yes, all students are teaching the teacher in a yoga class by their words, their movements, and just by being there, or not.

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