“Those who can’t do, teach” Or do they?

Yoga teachers, personal practice, and why I’ll (most likely) never make a handstand tutorial:

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Those who can’t do, teach”

(I believe it’s from a piece by George Bernard Shaw)

To be honest, this quote confuses the hell out of me, but I’ll take a shot at making sense of it...

It’s been said also that those who are the most experienced in their field don’t make the best teachers due to their inability to relate to a novice. And that those without a ton of hands-on experience can make great teachers because they themselves are students and can relate to someone learning the subject matter.

So here’s where this notion is challenged....the practice of yoga. How can one effectively teach a posture if they themselves haven’t experienced it in their body?

How can one speak of Love and empathy if they themselves don’t practice it?

How can someone guide a mediation if they themselves do not encompass a grounded energy to facilitate a meditation?

How can I possibly guide someone into a handstand if I myself haven’t felt a solid one in my body? Well, I CAN’T! And I won’t. Can I guide you into falling out of one gracefully? Yes.

Can I guide you through the mental process of maintaining focus and intention while kicking the furniture in your #yogafail ? You betcha!

I've heard countless stories of yoga teachers injuring students with hands-on adjustments in an attempt to deepen a backbend or a hip-opener. Sometimes even an inversion. YIKES!

As yoga professionals, we have a responsibility to our students to know when it's our place to step in, and when to be hands-off and defer to someone who has found the pose in their own body. Like most yoga postures and transitions, there's a formula for an effective execution. So much like an algebraic equation, if we as yoga teachers don't know how to get to the final outcome, we mustn't attempt it simply to serve our own ego, thus regressing a student's learning process.

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