Teaching Skills: Language, Touch and Communication


Modern-day life means it is becoming more and more challenging for teachers to teach the practices of yoga, especially around sensitive topics such as 'hands-on assists', using the right 'language', and the general nature of the environment in which class spaces are set up in. It's becoming more and more crucial that yoga teachers are equipped for changes in a dynamic environment. Read on to find out what advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, Rolfer, Rolf Movement practitioner and craniosacral therapist, Lizzie Reumont, has to say around her intention to create a safe space for students and teachers to embody and deepen their understanding of yoga.

As yoga practitioners and teachers, our life is spent with a lens on 'relationship'. Relationship to ourselves, relationship to others, relationship to the earth; these are fruitful grounds of observation. While these aspects of the yoga practice may seem obvious, these are the very aspects that tend to get confused or altogether lost in the hustle and bustle of teaching at different locations at different times to different people, especially in a large city. Too often the emphasis on the mat is on the ‘what’ instead of the ‘how’; it is up to the teachers to rectify this misunderstanding.

But let’s take it back one step. Most of us have come to understand yoga as union, yoking; the merging together of opposites. It is described in these and similar terms in thousands of textbooks over as almost as many years. The practice of yoga is designed in its entirety to clarify not only our physicality, but also philosophical ideas and, through observation, our psycho-emotional state. All of this disciplined work is designed to help us orient, expand our awareness and ultimately lead us to a place of integration, from a place of opacity - and even inertia - to a place of lightness and fluidity…to a place of physical and mental freedom. 

The reality is though, that it becomes more and more challenging for teachers to teach the practices of yoga in the confines of the modern yoga studio. With classes becoming shorter and shorter length and teacher training following suit, combined with the simple fact that everyone and anyone might show up in the practice space without necessarily being ready for an open level class, many teachers are at a loss and disengage with the students’ journey. This disengagement means that students have a higher risk of injury, that yoga classes trend towards fitness workouts more than a practice of observation and introspection, and much of the potential for yoga as a practice of transformation is lost. It, therefore, becomes more and more crucial that yoga teachers are equipped with the ability to hold the space for a wide range of students. Refined communication skills integrating language and touch help facilitate classes that empower, uplift and shine a light on the practice of yoga.
 
This two-day workshop will strip away at the many layers of complexity of teaching yoga, and address the foundation of 'relationship', particularly as it pertains to creating healthy boundaries with students assisting in yoga asana. We will explore the building blocks of holding space, how to read body language, define various levels of touch, and how to use the voice and language in conjunction with touch to convey meaning. Special time will be given to understanding the role of fascia in releasing strain patterns that become evident through the asana practice and working with a fascial structure to balance physical and emotional form. This workshop aims to increase confidence as your understanding of communicating through language and touch is refined through iteration and practice over our two days together. 
 
About Lizzie:

An advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, Rolfer, Rolf Movement practitioner and craniosacral therapist, it was a liver transplant in 2013 that gave her special insight into the fascial body and its relationship to organs, muscles, and bones. Lizzie’s passion for yoga, movement, and touch comes from a place of both theoretical knowledge and self-examination; her intention is to create a safe space for students and teachers to embody and deepen their understanding of yoga asana, energetic of touch and the fascial body so that they may better interact and encourage positive change within their students.

Teaching Skills: Language, Touch and Communication will run on 16th and 17th November. Find out more here.