I started taking Yoga classes just recently. Many friends have said that they enjoy the workout so I wanted to see what it was about. I already belonged to a gym so I found out when their yoga classes were and started going. As expected, the workout is incredibly hard but satisfying
What intrigued me was how the class was run. As an adult, none of us were forced to be there so the class is run assuming that we are all doing our best or getting what we want out of the class. The instructor does the poses in front of the class and explains as best she can (right now I have only had female teachers) how we could mimic the poses. There is no criticism whatsoever and from looking around the class I can tell that students are in all different phases of learning and ability to do the moves the instructor is modeling. Of course there are no grades or any type of motivational tactics used. We all choose to be there and are taking from it what we can and what we want.
It made me think of how different this is from traditional classes either for children or in typical colleges. There is an assumption that people don’t want to be doing the work even if they, themselves have paid for the classes. A great deal of pushing and criticizing and motivating is involved in teaching in the regular school atmosphere.
Why can’t all learning be similar to a yoga class? There is a person there that knows far more than the rest of us and is modeling and instructing us, but the other parts, the assumption that we, the students, are resisting learning is missing. People often start and stay with yoga for their entire lives even though it is quite physically difficult. What would learning be like if people of all ages were trusted to go into every learning situation as if they were interested and self-motivated and would be taking from it what they could and what they wanted? The fear is that no one would learn anything because young people are assumed not to want to learn or work hard.
Everyone works much harder to learn and practice the things that interest them. As long as these things are don’t harm anyone what’s wrong with letting people dig deep into their own interests? There’s almost always a way to create a living out of at least one thing that a person is interested in, alternatively many people are perfectly willing and happy to do jobs that are not within their interests, but provide the money necessary to support their ability to do what they are interested in.