Exercise 6. Key phrases / points

A key phrase is a statement that does not change through repetition. A point is a specific term or focus.In his notes on teaching Guruji writes:

Always give identical instructions for both sides for poses which need to be performed on the left and right side of the body. The teacher should never try to POUR his/her knowledge and the “points” they know. If the instructions given by the teacher are not being implemented or understood by the students then there is no point in continuing “teaching” what one has come prepared with for that particular class. The number of points and ideas given is not important. What is important is how many of these are comprehended and implemented by the students.

In the teaching process language changes in the following way:

Language that describes. We describe how to do the asana (a description that is distant but allows time for understanding).

Language that is instructional. We educate someone to act/observe/adjust when doing the asana.

Language that is directive. Language must economise so that it cam be acted upon. This is statement based instruction that recognises timing in the asana. It is teaching that brings the student into the moment (information that is applied).

This exercise aims to define and limit the amount of material being delivered by the teacher. Clarity and consistency will assist the student to improve. The Yoga Practice of Vairagya (restraint) is applied by the teacher.

In repeating an asana from side to side, develop key phrases that accurately describe the movements. As you repeat from side to side move from sentences that describe the pose to key terms that are directive. This exercise teaches economy in language and develops the ability to instruct in real time, in the moment of the experience.