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September 29, 2009

Yoga Class: How much talking is too much talking? ~ via Lindsay Jean Thomson

Less Talk, More Yoga.

“Oh. No. He. Didn’t…” the wide-eyed, gaping mouths of the audience seemed to shout (albeit silently) as the officiant preached the unholy trifecta of self-promotion, divorce and death at a wedding I attended recently.

As with most things, I couldn’t help but to relate the Father’s diatribe to…yoga. Have you ever been in yogasana class in which the teacher spends the first 10 or even 20 minutes talking about their personal life or the Divine-Goddess-So-And-So? Me too.

Like many people, my yoga practice started with the physical (asana) and developed from there. Now, as a teacher, I know how challenging it can be to incorporate and honor the other limbs of yoga into an asana class in a way that is accessible to the students—without interrupting the flow.

For me, a brief, heartfelt explanation or personal anecdote can help convey empathy as well as yoga philosophy. But the discussion shouldn’t overtake the asana practice if that’s the focus of the class. I offer my students the opportunity to ask questions so that they can pursue their yoga practice on and off the mat in the way that interests them because it’s not about what’s right for me, it’s about finding what’s right for them.

Students, teachers: How much talking is too much talking?

Lindsay Jean Thomson is a talker, no doubt about it. In addition to contributing to elephant journal, she has a blog, tweets and teaches in the great city of San Francisco at International Orange and yoga mayu.

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