I'm not sure how many of you are teachers out there but I am both a (beginner) teacher and a (beginner) yogi. I use the term beginner because I don't feel that after five years of yoga that I have nearly begun to scratch the surface of my yoga practice... but that's the topic for today. That will be a-whole-nother conversation.
I was teaching recently and I noticed that a student was completely doing different things than what I was teaching. She seemed to really be enjoying her improv and, to an extent, so was I. At first, I thought that as long she was enjoying her class and being safe that all would be fine. But then it happened... she did something that I strongly feel is unsafe. Now what? Do I go and take away from the class to help her? Do I guide everyone else into what she's doing so I can provide more direction?
Teachers, what do you do? Students? Why do you want to go off track from the class? In this case I was able to guide the class near to what this student was doing which then allowed me to give her some personal feedback and help her do her variation more safely.
Im not sure but sometimes it feels like students just don't want to do what I'm teaching. For the most part, I'm ok with that. It's only when safety comes into play that I don't like it. I would, however, like to take this opportunity that sometimes students don't know where I am going with my class. I plan them. It's not improvised in the heat of the moment (lol, no pun intended - I teach hot yoga). I build my classes with a goal in mind so sometimes when students deviate from that plan, they might miss out on something specific that might help them later on in the class.
While I say this, I will admit that when I am a student I also improvise in class but only with certain classes. Funny though, when I take my classes at home online, I never improvise. I'm not sure if it's because the teachers have so much to offer and everything is so well planned or that I get into what I'm doing and don't need to do anything extra. Maybe it's worth a conversation with these students to find out why they go rogue. Maybe they are bored or not challenged enough. Maybe they have an injury and need to change a sequence. I'm not sure what the right answer is or if there is one answer that would be applicable to everyone in every situation. I think we need to approach each situation with kindness and with the best interest of the students at heart. Keep them safe and encourage them to grow and experiment in their yoga practice.
If you have any tips for me, let me know!!!