TIPS: Why you should review your dialogue

Teacher training is all about the dialogue, dialogue, dialogue… as our contributor Andrew Moniz said in a recent post,

“During the 9-week journey you eat, breathe and shit dialogue!”

But after teacher training, there is little incentive to keep studying, unless studio owners demand it of their teachers. So, OMB has put together a list of five reasons why you should crack out your old dialogue and refresh your Bikram-isms.

1) Clean Up Your Class

While  it may not be as eloquent as Tennyson, the dialogue is simply the most effective, straight forward way to get students in and out of the postures.

“The dialogue must be viewed as a mantra, if you add-lib in the postures, you are taking students out of their meditationCraig Villani

2) Break Patterns

Even the most dialogue savvy of teachers will forget a line or two here and there, you may be surprised what you are missing in a pose. Little things like “Chest up, spine up, ribcage open,” get forgotten in spine twist all the time, and can drastically alter a students understanding.

3) Improve YOUR yoga

We tend to teach how we practice, and that means we remember the instructions we utilize the most when practicing. Sometimes this means details get lost that can help improve not only our teaching, but our own execution of the postures.

When I discovered that Standing Bow dialogue said “Try to touch your shoulder to your chin,” and NOTchin to your shoulder” my entire shoulder alignment changed.

4) Save yourself the sweat

If you are getting frustrated, and feeling like the students just aren’t ‘getting it‘, most likely you need to review your dialogue.

“The dialogue is a set of variables that must be executed in a sequence, each must exist in order to allow the other to happen.” Craig Villani

5) It’s good insurance

We have all had long days, off days, taught after late nights ( up meditating of course!!) or gone through tough times. It is during those times that the dialogue will give to your students when you are low; refresh now so that you can you can tap into the energy when you need.

We want to know, what are your reasons for reviewing dialogue?



Filed under Craig, For Teachers, Tips and Tricks

4 responses to “TIPS: Why you should review your dialogue

  1. I freaking love you right now.

    This is practically all I’ve been blogging about for the last week. Dialogue dialogue dialogue. I could write a thesis and a half. But this is a great summary. Sing it, sister!!

    Here’s another reason: it helps you make sure you are teaching the most universally useful instructions and not letting your personal practice creep in too much. Everyone tends to repeat the things they hear from THEIR teachers… but having a written guide helps prevent this from becoming a game of “telephone,” because we all can go back to the SAME reference manual.

    Here’s another: it frees your brain for multi-tasking – studying the bodies, taking care of the room – when you don’t have to search for your own words and reinvent the wheel every time.

    Also, there’s TONS of good stuff in those 2nd sides, 2nd sets that most people probably never even glanced at during TT. Go for the bonus material!! 2nd side triangle is my favorite page of dialogue at the moment, and 2nd side of standing head to knee totally changed my posture.

  2. I KNEW you’d get Julianna (thedancingj) all fired up with this post! She’s a dialog-holic and is going to be the most awesome teacher ever!!! 🙂

  3. I am so happy after reading this. It makes me miss Craig and the fact that he is not doing training for the full 9 weeks.
    As the owner of 2 studios now-I am very demanding that the teachers do straight dialogue. Most of them respond well and realize that it is the only way to go. I love getting teachers straight out of training -especially if I met then at the training-because then I can mold them from the beginning to do straight dialogue. I get very frustrated when I get teachers who come from other studios and were told to lay off the dialogue. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
    I wasn’t always like this. When I came out of training I was resistant to the dialogue. At some point-I think after I took a straight dialogue class did I realize what I missed. I went back and studied it religiously and said it verbatim and it was so amazing how much more I enjoyed teaching and how my own practice improved. Now we are like the rabbis who pour over the Talmud-looking for new meaning all the time. The dialogue has so many layers to it. It is truely a great document if looked at with an open mind. It is also something that brings all the teachers together-we discuss it endlessly.
    So I encourage every teacher to start saying dialogue dialogue dialogue and then just straight dialogue. You will find your voice with the dialogue. Do this and you will go from being a good teacher to being a really great teacher. Namaste

  4. woody

    I believe one of the hardest things to do is to make the dialogue your own…to make it sound as if you just made it up as you were teaching! A new teacher fresh from TT was spot on with her dialogue and it has been amazing at how quickly she has relaxed on the podium, and added her fluctuation of her voice and taken control of her room! Dialogue FIRST…the rest will come. Patience.

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