Honesty, while it may hurt someone’s ego, will always help their practice.
My yoga instructor epitomizes this skill brilliantly. She walks the fine line between honestly verbalizing her observations and helping you deepen your practice, without making you feel like a total idiot for screwing up.
For example, instead of telling her students, “If you can’t do this posture,” she’ll say, “If this posture is not available to you.”
Also, if you fall out of the pose she’ll say, “Thank you for listening to your body,” as opposed to, “Tall guy! You worthless maggot! Put down that water and get your sweaty ass back onto the mat!”
What kind of feedback do you provide?
Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and work study volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.