26 May 2006

If The Student Is Present, The Teacher Should Be Too

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, and halfway through realized they had drifted off and hadn't heard a thing you've said in the last five minutes? Its not a good feeling - particularly if you are talking to someone you consider a good friend, or, god forbid someone who is supposedly interviewing you for a job.

It's the same thing in yoga class. It is said that when the student is ready the teacher appears. But for the magic to happen, both have to be present to take part in the dialogue of yoga: the student and teacher must listen to each other. It's a dialogue that consists of gestures, gentle touches, words and demonstrations. And, perhaps most importantly - presence. Not in the sense of charisma or charm, but in the sense of "being there".

We students are your flock, and we feel safe in the knowledge that you are watching over us as we explore and push our limits, possibilities and fears. If you are not present, we know it. And it affects the quality of our dialogue and experience in a negative way. If your mind is wandering, I guarantee your students minds will wander too. And if you are present so are we.

Such is the good power of a teacher with the presence, focus and dedication to "being there."

May we all find such teachers.

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