How Just Being There Helps Students

Phenomena I noticed in a class I was teaching the other day – just being there helps students.  The pose was triangle headstand – Sirsasana II – at the wall.  It was a beginners class with about 8 students in it.  I instructed the pose, then let the stu’s workshop it.  When I was done helping one person get up into the headstand, I went over and talked to another who was just sort of sitting there.

I asked her to give it a shot, and she placed her hands and head properly, then came up into down dog legs and walked her feet in a few inches, then came back down.  Then she said she couldn’t do it, and she was afraid.  Two different things to me – but the same thing to her.

I wanted to just encourage her to go one more step – to get her knees onto her elbows.  So I said, I’m right here to spot you, and the wall is behind you, give it one more shot.  I talked her through it step by step, and I’ll be darned if she didn’t get into the headstand straight as a board.

Thinking about it now, she obviously had the skills, strength and ability to do the pose.  She just didn’t have the confidence (or, conversely, she had too much fear).  I didn’t do anything particularly special.  I just talked her through the mechanics of the pose, I didn’t even encourage her all that much.

Apparently just being there helps students.

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