Yoga and Language
I’m picky about words the way some folks are picky about their food.
Any yoga teacher who has studied with me will remember that I emphasize a thoughtful use of language in class. As yoga teachers we are entrusted by the students to guide them into an open, relaxed mental state. If that sacred space is honored, both student and teacher can benefit from doing their own work. It is both a powerful moment (or hour) and a delicate one with only words spanning across our individual thoughts.
Hearing an inappropriate comment can instantly misdirect a yoga session. I’ve often felt frustrated at a careless remark, either one that was just a self-indulgent rumination (or worse- a bad joke) or confusing instructions by a yoga teacher. Sometimes it took me the rest of the class session to refocus.
One time, while attending a workshop by a popular yoga teacher at a national conference, I was so offended by her casual chatter that I considered conspicuously exiting. I didn’t, I stayed but never attended her classes again.
Words, like the practice itself, have the power to alter thoughts. Paying attention to the placement of these sounds is as important as understanding the proper placement of our bodies in yoga.