At times, I’ve had the problem of providing excessive feedback to my fellow Yoga Human, Kyle after his yoga classes. While it comes from a place of excitement and love, I’ve come to realize that feedback is as much of an art as it is a technical skill. I practice during his classes and I feel so much joy and pride and something deeper than that too – a specialness in the fact that I am able to take classes led by the man I love. And, as I practice I take mental notes; little things that I think he could work on.
Well...I’m learning that some pieces of feedback are more helpful than others, as he so lovingly pointed out to me today.
Anyone who puts themselves “in the spotlight” as we do when we teach yoga, knows that you don’t always want tips on how you can improve right after you’ve finished. You’re on a high, you want to feel good. You don’t want to have someone point out a pose you mispronounced or a cue you missed.
My desire to give feedback comes from a place of really wanting feedback myself. Because as yoga teachers the opportunities for feedback are few and far between. In order to learn, grow, stretch and improve our skills, it’s so important to have someone who can tell you how you’re doing and what you might need to do a little differently. Because when you’re in the moment, immersed in the class, you can’t always see it for yourself.
However, there is some feedback that is really helpful, and other feedback that just feels a tad annoying.
A good first step when giving anyone feedback is to ask if they are open to receiving it. This might sound like: “I loved your class! I noticed a few small things as a student that you might find beneficial in your teaching, would you like me to share those observations with you?” Once you’ve ensured this person actually wants feedback, here are some pointers in making sure it’s useful!
What feedback should you give to a yoga teacher:
Tone of voice
Clarity: cuing and messaging
Overall feel of the class
What feedback isn’t as helpful:
Mistakes in left / right sides
Accidental errors in pose name
Things having to do with the teacher’s personal style / approach
Anything the teacher can’t go back and fix or improve on next time
Remember, any time you give feedback, proceed with love! Make sure you talk about all the wonderful things the teacher did, in addition to the things they can work on. Make sure the feedback is developmental, and also wanted by the teacher! If the feedback is delivered well, and delivered with love, it’s a true gift!
Other thoughts / feelings / agreements or disagreements about giving teachers feedback? Let’s chat about it in the comments!