Daily lesson from March 22, 2013 (Teach the teacher):
“Is she going to yell or curse if I don’t get a pose right?” After assuring her son, a high school football player, that no, her yoga teacher would not (nor would she ever) yell or curse at her students, a yogi mom convinced her son to join her in my evening class.
This got me to thinking – do coaches still swear, holler, and belittle their players? Isn’t that so old school? I thought back to all those in my life who have served as coaches, mentors, teachers, positions of authority, and came to a clear conclusion. Those who motivated from love made the biggest impact:
- In my tweens and teens, I frequently crawled out of the pool dead last in any given event. Nevertheless, my favorite swim coach was always waiting at pool’s edge with a giant smile and a “great swim Shannon! Your hard work is going to pay off!” I sucked, no question. But his encouragement led me to swimming into adulthood, and coupled with stronger events like cycling and running, I was able to garner a few impressive triathlon times.
- A former dance/fitness studio owner and instructor who mentored me in my 20s insisted I had a gift for teaching and an ability to inspire others. She pushed me hard in classes and refused to let me believe I couldn’t crank out 10 more push ups, but never once cursed or told me I sucked. Twenty years later, after finally saying sayonara to corporate life, I am now teaching yoga full-time.
- The joy I find in writing every day began with a journalism teacher who never allowed the red ink scribbled all over my first drafts to deter me. She spent hours after class helping me refine, polish, and clarify whatever point I was trying to get across. With her encouragement, writing has become synonymous with feeling present, alive, and joyful.
So dear high school football player, come back to class. And haul in your whole team for that matter! Because in my class, no one is going to yell, curse, or get in the way of your beautiful flow.