Learning When to Shut Up
Have you ever noticed that yoga teachers really LOVE it when students ask them questions they know an answer for? I haven't quite figured out if we just get questions we don't have answers for so often that we get a little too excited when we actually have a response that might be useful to someone or if it's just an ego thing, but I've been in way too many classes where teachers have just gone on and on (and on) answering one student's question while everyone else sat silently, staring at their toes.
"Oh! You have SI issues! Allow me to tell you (and everyone else waiting for class to begin) EVERYTHING i know about the SI Joint! ... You see, I was reading my anatomy book last week when my SI joint flared up and I found out that sometimes it has to do with a tight psoas. Then I talked to my physical therapist about it .... Let's have you march in place for a minute, so I can show you (and, again, everyone else in the room) what I know."
At this point, all of the other students are waiting politely and genuinely trying to get something out of the demonstration (even though it has nothing to do with them at all), and the poor student who asked the question wants to crawl under a rock. I know this because I ask a lot of questions.
Sometimes the lessons you learn from other teachers aren't particularly positive. Sometimes you learn what NOT to do. As a teacher, I intend to answer only the question that was asked of me, and in a succinct fashion. There is such a thing as too much information.
What things have you learned NOT to do from your teachers?
P.S. Here's an article from Yoga Journal's My Yoga Mentor email newsletter about incorporating silence into your teaching. Silence as a Teaching Tool (http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/2433)