In addition to my work in higher education and career coaching, I'm also a student in a yoga teacher training program at Frog Pond Yoga Centre in Princeton, Mass.
One of the guiding paradigms our teacher Ann has been sharing with us is what I'll call Both/And. Can both be true? Can this be true and that be true too? Can you sit with the tension of that? Can you just notice without judgement? Can you move away from the insistence on One/Or and see the complexities of life in a new light? This is human nature, but not ego nature, so it takes some getting used to.
Lecture essays have been all the rage this week. Here's an ode to lecture in the NYT. Here's a thoughtful response on Slate.
As my different studies and interests collide and merge, this week I've been asking yoga questions to higher ed answers.
Can both be right? Can I be a sage on the stage and a guide on the side? I've been teaching for a decade. I'm trying to recall the name of one student who could only focus during lecture or a student who could never focus during a lecture. I can't. Perhaps both can be true then. Maybe lectures work sometimes for some students and active learning works sometimes for other students. Both/And. Of course essays like these can and should take a divisive stance, and I'm grateful to these authors for sparking this conversation. Essays aren't where conversations should end though, but rather where they can begin.
I speak and teach sometimes. I listen and learn sometimes too. I can listen to my yoga teachers speak for hours. There's no PowerPoint involved. No overhead projector. No screens. Nada. It's them, on the floor, cross-legged, speaking from their soul to mine. Time ceases to exist. They talk about things that matter to me, that intrigue me, like the tension between truth and kindness. I'm enthralled. There's no need for a small group activity in this space, no scavenger hunt, no one-minute assessment activities, none of it. A room of souls talking to each other, that's it.
I've also been subjected to some bad lectures and presentations in my lifetime. I've had PowerPoints read to me as if I can't read myself. I've been bludgeoned with information I've known for a decade. A soul pretending she's not one and ignoring mine is not education; it's nothing more than a bad habit devoid of pedagogical self-reflection.
We aren't bodies with souls, we are souls with bodies. No matter the delivery method, education, in my book at least, is about one soul talking to another, whether from behind the podium or not.
This blog is focused on exploring ideas around yoga, career, intuition, purpose, and passion. Please leave a comment. Namaste.