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Friday, July 03, 2009

Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship

Farhi, Donna. Teaching Yoga: Exploring the Teacher-Student Relationship.

This book certainly contains some useful advice, but is the least favorite of the yoga books I've read. The information could be contained in fewer pages, and something about the style and anecdotal situations put me off a bit. Loved Farhi's Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit, but this one...not so much. Perhaps as a former high school teacher, much of the content is pretty standard fare. Which doesn't mean that even experienced teachers don't need reminders...

Here are some of the points I highlighted:

- "The underpinnings of the Yoga tradition have to do with leading a moral life in which our actions are congruent with our values." I like the way she worded this, and it is one of the more difficult virtues to accomplish--to practice what we preach.

- I also like that when she mentions ahimsa, usually described as non-violence, Farhi expands the meaning to "compassion for all living things" and later balances satya (not- lying or truthfulness) with ahimsa and not-harming. Often truth is used as a weapon and is intended to hurt or belittle. Farhi makes the first mention of this need for balance that I've read so far. It may be taken for granted by many, but I like that she spells it out.

- Farhi's use of Patanjali's yoga sutras to introduce many of sections is worth noting. I liked this aspect as well.

- I found the sections on the power of words, appropriate etiquette, and setting boundaries useful concepts to keep in mind. These are important in any teaching situation, but have special relevance for physical endeavors.

I do think Teaching Yoga is a book that will be good to have on the yoga shelf and one to which I might need to refer in the future. (There is a CD included that contains Farhi's keynote address at Yoga Spirit 2002.)

Nonfiction. Yoga. 2006. 166 pages.

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