Creating Intimacy With Your Students

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By Sarah Stevenson • November 2nd, 2012 • 16655 Views

Creating Intimacy With Your Students

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~Leo Buscaglia

When I look back at my various mentors, I find that one thing they all had in common was their true sense of compassion. Taking a dollar sign off the faces of your students will make you a more genuine, caring person and that will equate to success in the long run. Paying the bills as a yoga instructor may be a big priority, but our main purpose as teachers is to love our students so they feel safe in our hands so that we can watch them soar into a more loving, peaceful existence.

Here Are Five Ways to Create More Intimacy With Your Students:

1. Remember names: It's tough when so many different people attend your classes, but it's really important that you remember their names. Like that old TV show Cheers, we like to frequent places where everyone knows our name; it makes us feel important and special. I'm a visual person so I can remember a face from 20 years ago but it's a bit tougher for me to glue a name onto a face. One trick is to conjure up an image for every name you learn; so Rose obviously is a rose, Therese is the image of Mother Teresa, and whenever Brad comes to class, I'm pleasantly visited by an image of Mr. Pitt.

2. Physical touch: One of the main things that connected me to my favorite yoga teacher was how she physically touched me. She didn't just fix my structure if I was screwing up in my asanas, but also grazed my arm when I was doing something right. You can show your students appropriate physical affection at any point in the practice. A hug or hand shake when you greet them or say goodbye, a touch on the shoulder to remind them to drop the shoulders away from the ears during meditation. A reassuring brush of the hand when they rock a pose perfectly, or a sweet tweak when something is out of alignment. Savasana is an amazing time to help your students relax, with small tugs to the arms and legs, and a gentle hand over their heads or heart. But...

Sarah Stevenson

Location:  US

Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Southern California.  Sarah began her journey into yoga the day her son was born and placed on her chest. As Sarah recounts “The moment...