I did my second practice yoga teaching yesterday. As I was supposed to, I walked around the room, tried to verbally adjust a student whose knees had splayed in Danurasana (Bow Pulling Pose). One difference between teaching English and teaching Yoga immediately struck me--the immediate feedback one gets on the clarity (or lack of clarity!) of one's instructions.
I wanted the students in the practice teaching to take a forward fold and come down into plank. But they were all standing at the back of their mats! To misquote the Talking Heads, "How did they get there?"
Well, I must have communicated somehow. The immediate, visual feedback I got-- row of people standing at the back of a 2x6 foot sheet of plastic when I intended them to stand at the front--makes me wonder what misfires and miscommunications occur when teaching in the college classroom.
My students in the Yoga studio are seasoned practitioners, some of my literature students are very new to college-level reading and writing. It seems time for more clarity, and perhaps more "practice" to troubleshoot the uncomfortable academic poses that I ask them to occupy.