Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Word words words

Today we practiced leading yoga postures with economical, process-oriented language that allows participants to have their own unique experience of the postures. Standard yoga teacher jargon contains all kinds of subtle judgments. For example, the instruction "Come into
Child Pose and just breathe." In that tiny word "just" is the suggestion that breathing is a small, simple thing when for some people it may be difficult or profound. They will unconsciously get the message that there is something "wrong" with them if they have difficulty "just breathing". Other examples: "Feel a nice stretch in your side"; "Open your heart in Cobra Pose". This can seem picky at first, but the effect of language choice on experience is real and well-documented by science.

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