In teaching group classes of posture, movement and breathing I believe it is usually a good idea to suggest easy options of more difficult exercises. However, there will always be people who attempt the difficult (and often potentially dangerous) exercises when they are not qualified to do so, and a significant number of people who seem to just stop practicing when the teacher demonstrates options that are too hard, even if students know that easy versions exist.
If the teacher makes things accessible but too easy some students will be bored and not keep practicing. But when the teacher offers something too inaccessible and/or too complex/hard then some students, even if you give the simple/easy options, then some people (sometimes the same people who got bored with the simple/easy practice) tend to give up because its too hard.
As a teacher the ultimate challenge is to meet the group you are teaching and make it challenging but accessible yet not too boring. But you need to do it on a physical, physiological and mental level as well. And for all the different body-energy-mind types of people in your class.
Giving options from simple/easy to complex/hard in each class is one way to do it but usually the Western tenets of competitiveness, ‘no pain no again’ as well as the Western ego tend to get in the way.
I think the role of a teacher (especially in group classes that include posture, movement breathing (including yoga, dance and martial arts) is to find a way for all the students to keep up a regular practice at all times no matter how their body-energy-mind is feeling, but always adapting the practice to their current state.
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*** 3 February – 3 March, 2019
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