Friday, February 18, 2011

My New Best Friend

Yeah, that's me with my new BFF, Amy Ippoliti, you know, the Januaray 2011 Yoga Journal cover model. We're tight. Ok, well, sort-of.

All this month I've been participating in Amy's amazing online course 90 Minutes to Change the World. It is a webinar (so cool) designed to bring up the level of teaching in 90 minute local public classes. She created the webinar because she was finding so many people are trying to go right from teacher training into becoming national and international teachers and it seems that the local teacher is losing ground. 90 minute local classes are really where it's at for building yoga communities in our hometowns and if the local teachers aren't at the highest level then the community really misses out. And you know, if the yoga community isn't as strong as it can possibly be then the greater local community isn't going to be as strong as it can possibly be. Because the way I see it, yoga changes the world.

The webinar is set up in two sessions weekly for 4 weeks. The Tuesday session is for Amy to teach and give information, the Thursday session is for coaching. Students send in questions and Amy chats with you right online or by phone with everyone else listening. (it's ok if you're not available for the call, you can listen to the recordings later). This is how Amy and I got to be best friends. Last week I submitted a coaching request and didn't think I'd even be free for the call, but I was online and then suddenly Amy says she's going to answer my question. So she un-muted me and we chatted online for a few minutes. It was totally cool! Here is this world traveling, very well respected and influential Certified Anusara Yoga teacher having a conversation with me, just me, about one way to improve my teaching skills. I felt so special and so cool.

The experience hit home for me just how important individual attention is for each student. (Funny thing is, that is what my question was about, how to effectively give attention while teaching). But I could easily remain an anonymous listener in this whole webinar. Invisible essentially, But by asking my question and being open to having it answered, I didn't end up hiding away. Instead, I was "Seen" by Amy and have a connection to her, my teacher, and to the rest of the group. It was extremely fun, inspiring and powerful. And it reminds me again that the personal individual connection is what is going to make a huge difference for my students. If they trust me and believe I have their best interests at heart, they'll try anything.
The power of the relationship!

Contemplation/Question: How do you connect individually with your students or teacher, clients, employees etc? Or, just with your family and friends?

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