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Opinion: Classroom dialogue teaches more than textbooks

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In 28 days, I was hooked on yoga.

Somewhere along the way, I picked up a copy of “Richard Hittleman’s Yoga: 28 Day Exercise Plan.” Now, if I go more than a few days without stretching, I am bound to start snapping at someone or something.

It’s not so much the physical effects I quickly miss. Yoga literally means union. It’s all about connecting the mind-body-spirit dots. And you thought yoga was just touching your toes and balancing on one foot.

For me, yoga is a reminder of how important it is to allow someone to help us. There is no need to go it alone.

You can learn yoga from a book. The author is the teacher, and you are the student. An in-person private lesson is a valuable luxury. You might want to add the occasional guru-to-you session to your practice. And, it’s great to participate in a group lesson now and then, too.

There is something sacred about the classroom. You show up with all your strengths, limitations, fears and expectations. So does every other student as well as the teacher.
You can decide that you will learn something, or you can intend to prove that the teacher is full of crap. You can choose to play, or to hold back. You can help or hinder the class.
And you will probably discover that the more you give, the more you gain.

That rings true for any class, doesn’t it? Whether it’s yoga practice, or a class on marketing or a boiler training session, here are some ideas to help you become a successful student:
  • Be on time for class. It’s less stressful for you. And it’s rude and disruptive to others when you are late.
  • Good grooming is good manners. It’s rough to be next to someone who could use a shower.
  • Be prepared and equipped. Show up dressed right and with the proper tools.
  • Leave your phone at home or in the car. Really, if anything is that important, you will be found. And if they burned the shop down while you were gone, it may be a good opportunity for you to make some overdue changes.
  • Find a sitter. Is the class geared for youngsters? If not, find another activity for the children. Even the most well behaved kids will be challenged to sit still, and you will have a harder time being “present.”
  • Participate – even if you know it all. Consider the power of revisiting the basics. Consider how you might teach this information to someone else.
  • Listen and do as directed. Before you out-think the teacher, follow the instructions given and see if you can experience some new insights.
  • Think less. Allow yourself to be guided and helped.
  • Take responsibility. If you get hurt, there is probably a lesson in your impending recovery.
  • Embrace the group experience. You are not going to get the same level of attention that you would in a one-to-one consultation.
  • Don’t rush off. Take a minute after class to thank the teacher and maybe set up a private lesson.
  • Consider teaching a class yourself.
Why not approach every class with the discipline of a yogi?


Ellen Rohr is an author and business consultant who offers systems for getting focused and organized, making money and having fun in business. Her latest book is “The Bare Bones Biz Plan.” She can be reached at[[In-content Ad]]


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