Today’s episode is a lively conversation between host Rachel, Dana Diament and Valerie Knopik PhD – teacher trainers on the brand-new online version of the Yoga Medicine 200hr Teacher Training.
We unpack the meaning and intention behind several controversial verbal cues, debate their accuracy, offer scenarios where they might be more or less relevant to students, and provide some alternatives.
Listen in to hear why we were all drawn to training with Yoga Medicine, and discuss a central challenge of teaching: balancing the need to cue quickly and efficiently with the desire to communicate more nuance and complexity.
“It is so important to watch your students and see if your cues are actually landing the way that you are wanting them to land.” – Valerie Knopik PhD
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“Once you paint the picture you teach your students what you mean, then things like ‘engage your core’ are quick and they know, but without that foundational understanding it can lead students astray.” – Dana Diament
- “Navel to Spine” and other anterior core cues [2:53]
- Establishing key cues at the beginning of class [6:46]
- Other possible core cues [7:47]
- “Flat back” [8:52]
- Alternative cues for a neutral spine [11:26]
- Potential problems with the “flat back” cue [12:23]
- “Swan dive forward” [16:20]
- The challenge of cueing fast, complex or habitual transitions [18:34]
- “Tuck your tail” [23:06]
- When “tuck your tail” may or may not apply, and alternatives [26:09]
- Vivid cues could be more helpful for beginners than more experienced students [30:13]
- “Lift your sit bones” [32:16]
- “Square your hips” and alternatives [38:51]
- The ultimate test of cueing: watch your students [42:45]
- “Knees stack over toes” [45:33]
- “Knees track with toes” [51:14]
- Cues as options for exploration, not makers of right or wrong alignment [55:20]
- “Micro-bend your knees” or elbows [56:12]
- Has overuse of “micro-bend” encouraged self-diagnosis of hyper mobility? [59:30]
- What initially drew these teachers to Yoga Medicine [1:01:38]
- The new online Yoga Medicine 200-hour teacher training [1:07:45]
- Connect with Valerie Knopik:
“It’s all about the context of who you’re teaching, what you’re trying to communicate, what the focal point is, and it’s always in the context of long term education and conversation.” – Rachel Land