Teaching AcroYoga for more than ten years has taught me a lot about myself, people, life, and what does and doesn't work.
In this week's blog, I'll share some of the insights that I've had, which have helped me along this path.
Let me know what you think!
1. If someone doesn't “get it”, it means I have to become better at teaching
This has been an amazing tool and reminder for me.
Sometimes it happens that my instructions seem to have no effect, they just don't seem to work.
And it would be an easy way out to “blame” the other for not being “smart” or “coordinated enough”. But that's a cop-out, and I know it.
Instead, I love trying to find out what would help them to “get it”:
When there's confusion, I'm the one who needs to give clarity.
Where there's chaos, I'm the one that needs to bring calm.
In case of misunderstanding, I have to deepen my understanding.
And then when there's success, we can celebrate together!
This tool helps me to truly see people and be their ally in what they want to achieve.
2. Teaching is one BIG mirror
I still remember the first time a friend of mine asked me to fill in for her AcroYoga class… I was so nervous!
“What if they don't like me?”, “They'll be disappointed that I'm teaching the class”, “I'm not good enough”…
It was like all my insecurities came rushing in to say hello when I decided to step up my game.
So I learned to breathe, and take that step, and find out it was ok on the other side.
Teaching is about learning to look in the mirror, and then step through.
3. Having fun is more important than being perfect
This one I have learned from my students, and I'm still learning!
As a recovering perfectionist, I sometimes get lost in wanting everything to be exactly right.
I've caught myself trying to give people my well-meant advice just after they fell to the ground, laughing over something that went wrong.
Or perhaps they were super excited after sticking a pose for the very first time, and I was already there to give all the pointers on how it could be better.
Of course, my job is to coach people to a higher skill level,
but I'm also learning that it's all about the path, not the goal.
And as long as the path is full of fun, connection and playfulness, we're doing great!
4. Authenticity rocks
This is one of the most beautiful and scary teachings at the same time.
When I stepped into the role of teacher, I had all these ideas about how I should be and behave.
I thought I had to be a role model, or a perfect representation of what I was teaching.
Which is impossible, of course. And a little silly.
As I've grown, I am learning to reveal more of myself, daring to show my vulnerability, to admit when I'm wrong, to share my not-always-peaceful emotional state of being, and to laugh when I make a mistake.
This is not in the least because I've realized that whatever I suppress as a teacher will be felt by the group and reflected in the class.
So the more open and relaxed I can be with whatever is going on inside, the more open and relaxed I can be as a teacher, creating the safe space for others that I love to provide.
5. It's not about being the best teacher, it's about wanting the best for others
When I first started teaching, I was so focused on being good enough, that I sometimes lost sight of what is truly important: I'm not here for me, I'm here for you.
As a teacher, I want the very best for my AcroYogis.
I want you to learn in a way that feels fun, safe and nourishing.
I want you to feel understood and seen, and to gain not just AcroYoga skills, but even life skills while we're at it!
And when you succeed, I am happy and proud with you!
I see what you want to learn, and I know that I have the skills to get you there.
I might or might not be the very best teacher, but I am dedicated to your growth, and this attitude will ensure that we'll find a way together.
And if I'm not the best match for you, I wish you the best other teacher that you can get.
Shifting the focus from myself to the other is one of the greatest teachings for me.
And it makes this beautiful profession of teaching a lot more fun as well!
Now I'm curious about you
Did you have any insights while reading this blog?
Whether you're a teacher or not, do you see where these things might apply in your life?
Do share them in the comments below :)
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