Creating Emphasis

A third teaching skill can be referred to as “skeleton”. Skeleton refers to the skill of laying down the bones (minimal detail) of the asana before putting the flesh(detailed instruction) on as needed. This skill is often used for more experienced groups and consists of delivering a minimal set of instructions in an asana in order to observe what the student knows. Following this, the teacher focuses the instruction on the areas of greatest need. In its initial round the teaching may use as little as one focal point and a set of markers to see what the student knows and is capable of. In this way, this skill is primarily a way to assess students and thus ready the teacher to focus content to where the students are at. Examples:

  • Step the feet together in tadasana.
  • Inhale, jump the feet to trikonasana width, feet parallel.
  • Align the feet to the R. Press into the BTM and with an exhalation take the R hand to the ankle.

These examples are limited in specific detail of instruction and require that the students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the asana. As a skill they inform the teacher of the students’ level of understanding and capacity. The teacher can then choose the area of focus most appropriate to that moment or group.