Monthly Archives: February 2020

Can Other Students Help You Improve Your Yoga?

Many of us who regularly go to yoga classes will hear instructors tell us not to look at other people in the room, but think about our own practice. There is no doubt about the truth of this suggestion. When making this comment, the instructor reminds us to practice yoga without ego and pride that can make us try to compete with our neighbors or make us feel inadequate if we cannot achieve posture.

Learning from ourselves

Yoga is an individual practice that helps us to focus our mind though the movement and use of our body. It is only by bringing our full awareness and concentration to our own bodies, movement and alignment that we can fully relax and deepen our stretches. Listening to our bodies is essential to avoid injury while we continue to test and extend the limitations of our body to improve our yoga abilities.

A learning environment

With this in mind, when we practice with a room full of others, it is sometimes difficult to completely resist the desire to have a quick look at what others are doing.

But we don’t necessarily have to feel guilty from these indiscretions. Yoga class is a learning environment, and there is a lot that we can learn and benefit from our curiosity if we remember that we are not in competition with the others in the room.

The most basic help from a quick look around is if we are not fully concentrating on the teacher’s instruction. If we are focussed on our current pose it’s possible that we miss the name of the next pose or didn’t fully understand the instructions then a quick look over can provide clarification.

While we may rely on the instructor to help with our alignment, it’s not always possible for them to visit us all individually for each posture. Instead, while we hold the pose we should be feeling our position, examining our alignment and correcting it ourselves – if there are mirrors in the room, they can help with this for some postures. If we are unsure about the correct alignment and position for some postures a quick look over at the more capable students in the room, to see their position, can be all that’s needed to correct our own understanding. If we can see the instructor correcting another student’s posture, we can follow that and try to apply it to our own posture. (Obviously this approach has the risk that we are copying someone else who is not aligned correctly. If you’re really unsure of the pose then it’s still best to ask the instructor).

Be inspired

Many of us started yoga to improve some aspect of our physical appearance, to loose fat, build muscle or improve our posture for example. A quick look over at the beautiful boys and girls elegantly stretching and exercising their bodies can remind us of what we’re trying to achieve, and show us what may be achieved. This can be a source of enormous inspiration and motivation from seeing what can be achieved by the more able students in the class, more so than looking at the instructor.

We expect the instructor to have certain abilities beyond ours simply because they are teaching us, they have the superior position in the teacher, student relationship. However, when we think of other students, we see them on the same level as ourselves, human just like us, and we can relate to them more easily. If we remember that they have probably reached their yoga abilities through practice, we can be inspired to further test our own boundaries.

Similarly, if we see one of our class mate’s abilities improving over time, we can be further encouraged that through more effort in our practice, or more focus on the areas that we want to improve, we too can achieve our goals.

A Cool Gift Idea for Piano Students Helps Students Practice

I have taught piano for years and I have found great ways to encourage my young students to practice. During my group piano lessons I put practice students on each student’s piano. This year at the beginning of the school year I gave each student a special gift – Piano Pal Practice for their piano at home. Piano Practice Pal is a friend of small stuffed animals that students take home and use their piano to accompany them while they practice. When a piano student reaches a new goal that is challenging for them, I like to give them new piano exercises in different colors to add to their piano collection at home. Children ages 5 to 11 as well as older children enjoy this special recognition and encouragement.

Some parents and piano teachers may think this is unnecessary because students don’t need things to get them to practice. Well I’m not trying to get students to practice by bribing them with toys. I’m just showing them how they can make their piano practice time even more enjoyable. Why shouldn’t piano practice be a fun as possible! Some of my students even like to talk to their practice pals from time to time during their practice. Other student’s practice pals become piano student Cheer Leaders. I’ve even composed a song for my young students called the Piano Practice Pal Cheer!

My work is never done, I will always give a cheer – Whoooo! My piano student’s near and so very, very dear – Whooo! Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, Way to Go! That’s the way to be an Ace, it’s much more work to make a face!

My work is never done, I will always give a cheer – Whoooo! My piano student’s near and so very, very dear – Whoooo!

Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice, P-i-a-n-o! I’m such a chum to listen, pal, so please don’t ever go!

Stay and have more music fun with your P – i – a – n – o, Chum, Chum, Chum.

I love helping children achieve their musical dreams by making piano lessons both challenging and fun! And you can too…

To learn the best way to share the gift of music with children visit Amazon.com for my Piano Bears Musical Stories for Children The exciting Piano Bears Musical Stories for children ages 5 to 11 feature the loveable characters, Mrs. Treble Beary and her new piano student, Albeart Littlebud. Children love following along with Albeart to Mrs. Treble Beary’s piano studio in Musical Acres Forest. Here they learn what piano lessons are all about in a fun way that kids readily understand and appreciate! Piano students laugh and giggle while reading “Little Bear’s Musical Garden” and “Little Bear’s Piano Goals.”

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