Teaching People Not Poses
By: Jay Fields
We’re excited to bring you our first book review. When we first came across Jay and Grace&Grit there was a draw, a desire to know more. Her wonderful book ‘Teaching People not Poses, 12 Principles for Teaching Yoga with Integrity’ is a guide for growth for yoga instructors. Not a muckety manifesto or windy walk through her life, this book does not ask for much of your time; but it does ask much of you. Jay describes each of the 12 principles and then challenges you with a set of questions providing you with a guided retrospection so that you are able to implement the principles into your life and teaching. Sitting down to read this book, it only took a few hours – but now that I have read it I’m going to definitely go back, with a journal at the ready and attempt to answer all of her questions and challenges. That being said there are definitely two different ways to read this book. The first is the way I read it – just as a book from cover to cover, pausing to think over each question. The second way to read the book which I plan to do, is to read it principle by principle reflecting as you go and really taking the time to think about each question (almost like a workbook for becoming a better teacher).
Rather than get into what principles she lists, what she has to say about them and why I agree with her – I am going to let you read the book and learn and reflect for yourself. I think this is a great book for any yoga teacher no matter how much experience they have. Not only is it worth the time to read, it is an easy and flowing book that does not really tax your time at all. In my opinion there really is no reason not to pick up this book. Jay speaks to you in a conversational and friendly tone. You do not feel like you are reading a textbook or something written in lofty philosophical speak that you have to stop and translate after every sentence. I think it would be a great enhancement to any meditation practice. Taking the time to read a principle, sets up for a guided meditation and self reflection that can help you grow again both as a person and as a yoga teacher.
Stop by Grace&Grit and read more about Jay and the way she describes her book, and for more yoga teacher resources. Jay’s blog is chalked full of great tips, insights and tips for life both on and off the mat. Both her teaching methods and her book have been really well received by the yoga community – find out why and pick up a copy for yourself. Her book is available through Amazon.com but I’m sure Jay would love it if you checked out her site and went through her page to purchase the book (we’re all about helping the people we like boost their page rankings here – we think Jay deserves it). Once you get the book, set aside a little bit of time over the course of a week to read, reflect and meditate on the great principles and questions she poses in this simple and resourceful book.