Did you know that this relationship between student and teacher is crucial for optimum growth?
No matter what the subject, no matter what type of class is taught, no matter the environment or the location; the tandem between the two is what makes a student become what he becomes and gives the teacher matter to work with.
When a student attends a yoga class they come under the teaching of that teacher for that particular class. The attitude of a student is everything and the teacher's approach toward the student will help one grow or stunt one's growth. Both can happen.
That's why the student /teacher relationship is sacred and an important one to develop, particularly for the student.
I teach yoga for many people weekly yet I see myself more as a student than a teacher. Through that matrix I can help my students even more as I remember what it is like to be in a class full of other students following the direction of a yogi teacher.
When a new student comes into a class and under my tutelage, at first I like to observe them. Their behavior tells me their ability or willingness to learn and hear what is being instructed.
By observing my students, and their way of moving through Asanas gives me indications on how I can help them. I look for their level of tenacity in difficult poses, their desire to learn, how much they hear what's instructed, etc.
When the student returns to class after a few days, it's usually because their initial experience was good and they want to repeat it. At this time, their attitude toward me has changed drastically. A level of trust is taking place. And the initial bond is being established by the student to his teacher and vice versa. It is still a very fragile bond but this is where it starts.
The student is usually willing to let me teach them and learn without prejudice, without objections, and little reservations. They want to be part of this, and here they are.
But it takes students more than one class to be willing to be taught without any reservation. As a teacher, I will wait and give them their space for as long as is necessary before I start giving them more direct instruction or adjusting their poses when needed.
The key ingredient here is "the student's attitude toward the teacher". That's where it all start.
The teacher is here waiting for the student to respond positively and open up to the teacher.
As weeks go by, there is a trust that starts implementing itself between student and teacher, which I call "the student-teacher relationship".
That trust overtime will grow and expend depending on the student's behavior toward learning and improving.
That relationship is fragile and extremely delicate and can be altered or even broken at any time. And we see this in our own personal relationships with friends or even our mate. If the teacher says something that the student may not like or approve of or even agree with, and if the student's attitude is one of cockiness, defiance, arrogance, know it all, or not receptive, that trust is gone in a blink of an eye.
This happens to the best of us after we have gained a little bit of knowledge in one particular field, we start thinking we know, and we do to a degree yet there is so much ahead of us that remains to be discovered.
When we spot one of these attitude of discord in ourselves it is important to put things back into perspective as soon as possible and re-establish this trust or level of love relationship between student and teacher or student and mentor.
It is important to realize that we don't know it all (we never, ever, ever know it all) and need to change our attitude immediately if we want to safeguard the relationship we have developed with our teacher or mentor.
Humility is key in this scenario. With humility one is willing to be taught, accept the possibility of "I don't know everything", therefore I am willing to learn more.
A "know it all" has arrived to the summit of their learning and will not let anyone teach them anything anymore. How boring is that?
If the student feels this way about their teacher, then fine. They should move on and find another teacher that will be more suited for them at this time.
In some scenario it may be true that the student has learned everything there is to learn from that teacher.
When I see students with these kinds of attitude in my classes, I usually back off and let them learn on their own without my interference at all. Life always teaches us, one way or another.
If you want to learn from someone, be respectful of them no matter what. Even if you don't agree fully with everything they say, there might be a time where you will understand what they truly meant and you won't feel at odd with what their message was.
The Teacher-Student relationship is one very important one that is unsaid, untold, and very subtle yet very real. Protect it, nurture it, and keep a healthy attitude toward it if you want to learn.
We all need a parent (teacher) to help us grow into an adult (student). Parent(s) give us all that they know, protect us, guide us, to become the full grown independent person we must become. Without them it would be practically impossible or we would learn the hard way the lessons we need to have to become accomplished and a healthy balanced individuals to make it in society.
It wasn't until I turned about 25 years of age that I started to understand life, myself, my role in society, what the world, or the country I lived in was about, what my next step could be and at that age my choices were clearer.
Before that I couldn't make sense of much yet I had a job and sustained myself since I was 17 and had already moved to a foreign country speaking another language. So I wasn’t exactly incapable but as we know the brain isn't fully developed until about age 25. It certainly felt true for me.
Protect your relationship with your teacher or mentor. Whomever this is, keep a healthy attitude, respect them so you can thrive.
From a Yogi to Another ~ Marie-Aude Préau
Born and raised in France, I left my home country in my late teens pursuing a dream. I knew I would live in the USA and that it was my destiny.