This week I started dialogue training with one of the other teachers at Bikram Yoga Noosa and Kawana. I started to feel the delivery of some of my postures was getting a little messy and I wanted to clean things up.
In essence, when you return from Teacher Training, your dialogue should be verbatim. Unless you teach at a pro-dialogue studio, as time goes on, your delivery of Bikram’s dialogue tends to wane, you start making up your own dialogue and one day the structure of the posture falls apart. Of course if you have a healthy relationship with other teachers, it should come up during feedback. If not, you’re on your own and at first you may not even notice your dialogue slipping.
Telltale signs you’re dialogue is getting messy:
- You feel frustrated that practitioners are not listening
- You start having to give more corrections
- You tend to ad-lib more and weird things jump out of your mouth
- Your instructions lose order, intertwine and lines from one posture creep into another
- You start saying, “Sorry” during class
- Your delivery becomes jaded
- Other teachers stop coming to your class
- You don’t know why but you stop enjoying teaching
We started with Half Moon Pose with Hands To Feet Pose. We had one week to learn; a generous approach to start with. We had to recite in a regular class, delivering verbatim dialogue in the first set and if we messed up, second chance in second set. I stick pretty much to dialogue anyway, was quietly confident and thought I could wing it with little study. But once on the podium, I became nervous. I failed. “My” dialogue was too strong for Bikram’s and although it was almost verbatim, it wasn’t perfect.
I continued teaching the class with gusto, with as much dialogue as I could muster. It flowed and a strange thing happened: Everybody’s postures were so damn good to the point I was surprised. The class buzzed along. It felt solid, complete. After class I realized I had given almost no corrections!
When you think practitioners are not listening anymore, maybe it’s not them, it’s you!