Raw Pistachio Chocolate
One of the points to be aware of as a teacher is making friends with your students.
It is a fine line.
Finding the perfect balance between friendship and maintaining the composure of a quality teacher is not always easy.
I think I do quite well although I certainly don’t always get it right.
I am sure there have been many moments where my students have thought one of the following:
“Bitch! How dare she tell me to lift my butt up off the floor in ‘Utpluthi’, she knows I just split-up from my boyfriend…”
“Oh, I know she’s only saying ‘well done’ because we’re mates and I feed her raw chocolate…”
“Why won’t she adjust me? We’re *best* friends?!!!”
“Uhh! She is totally starring at my rubbish example of X,Y,Z pose”
“Ooo, I’ll go to her class, she’ll be nice to me…”
etc, etc…and is it right or wrong to think such thoughts, and many others?
…To be honest, I don’t really care, so long as this ‘stuff’ we are working on together is taking us *both* closer to the truth.
I’m sure, there comes a time when every teacher wonders;
“…should I even talk to the students out side of class at all?”
In my opinion it is ultimately important that the students feel they can approach you, confide in you, respect you and feel respected.
Just like friendship really.
Something I am still pondering on and loving the process of figuring it all out.
Here’s an email I got the other day from one of these very relationships.
I hope you enjoy the dip into my emails & behind the scenes in my life.
***(NB: The chocolate pictured above is from this same very student who is an *awesomely dedicated practitioner* & I *love dearly as a friend* and I think the feelings are mutual. So, what startles me the most is that we are capable of being student~teacher and friend~friend without batting an eye-lid about it.)
*Blessed we are*
…from you and your traditional take on teaching us ashtanga. I like
>>> it. I’m learning so much. If Jill had never enforced the “no second
>>> series ’til drop backs” rule, I wouldn’t be able to drop back. I’d
>>> still be afraid, and upset over letting the fear stop me.
>>> I had a bit of a “moment” with Jill. You see, Karen *always* helped me
>>> with dropbacks. Always. Which made bendy me lazy. (Just to be clear, I
>>> through the “wtf am I doing here at this hour!” shock of starting
>>> morning practice). And Jill just kept walking past me. Every now and
>>> then she’d remind me that she would help me once I’d done one on my
>>> own. So it took me a while. First I had to get a tiny bit angry that
>>> she wouldn’t help me. Then I had to reason that Jill probably didn’t
>>> want me to fall on my head, and that if she was leaving me to try to
>>> drop back on my own, the worst that was likely to happen was me being
>>> very very inelegant and awkward, rather than me going splat on the
>>> floor. Then I had to actually do it (which is the easy part). And now
>>> with your “five drop backs every day” orders, I’m learning lots, even
>>> though it’s pretty rare that I can actually do 5 dropbacks and stand
>>> ups in a row without thinking. But I can do three, which is amazing,
>>> cuz a few weeks ago, I couldn’t even do one, no matter how much not
>>> thinking I did!
>>> So… my guess is that this method is a bit harder for the teacher and
>>> a bit harder for the student and a lot better for both. If you keep
>>> saying the method works and you want us to believe it, you have to
>>> believe it too!
>>> I *heart* wee yogi. I learn so much in that mysore room. Yogi wee is
>>> but her heart big is. <- this is how Yoda would say it. Yoda is also
>>> wee, so I think he understands these things.
♥ Blessed indeed ♥