Last Sunday, I taught a yoga class at Bushel and Peck's, the new organic/local food grocery store in Beloit. [And here's another blog I've started about that whole endeavor--too much free time, yeah, right!]
It was a really nice group, the "art gallery" wasn't too echo-y and dinner was delish. We'll do it again in October.
Every time I do a new class, for a different group, I get a little bit nervous, because I'm not sure who's going to show up and what their expectations are. There are usually a few familiar faces, and I always appreciate having regulars out there (so encouraging in their peaceful expressions), but I find myself watching the new people very closely--do they get it? are they enjoying themselves? is something bothering them physically?
Probably, there are times, that a student's bad experience has nothing to do with me--having a bad day, running late, trouble parking--but usually that kind of stuff gets ironed out in class. However, I feel strongly that a teacher is mostly responsible for a students' experience, and should make sure people are being reached--if they want to be reached. Even a gentle adjustment, can make some one feel like they have been noticed and cared about.
That's why something like this, astounds me. I love Suzi's insight and thoughts about yoga on her blog, and I imagine she projects that kind of energy in her practice. Why would a teacher single her out for such a pointless and ego-driven lecture. (I'm sure she's moved on and I should "put that lady down", but this drives me nuts). When I wrote about yoga and community a few months ago, I also got quite a few comments from people who had been made to feel completely out-of-place in a yoga class. I don't get it...how can you be standing in front of a group of people--your students, for pete's sake--and not notice that some one is having an awful time. Or not feel like you should reach out to them.
Even if it's other students that are creating the bad vibes, a teacher ought to figure out how to cool the temperature and get everyone to focus on the practice. I know I can't reach everyone or that my teaching method doesn't always resonate (which also drives me crazy--but that's my problem), but I want to feel like I tried to connect.
I dunno, maybe other teachers' classes are too big or over too quickly for them to reach out. Maybe there are bunch of cranky students out there, looking for a fight. But, surely, you can see my point...