Lucy Karnani & Jill Danks

Conscious Listening to Deepen Connection

The Modern World of Yoga is experiencing a ‘back to the future’ resurgence of the classic one-on-one teacher student experience both though Yoga Therapy and Personal Practice Design.

The teacher/student dynamic in a one-on-one session is different to a class student/teacher relationship. When one-on-one, there is a greater opportunity (and need) for a more intimate communication and for vulnerability to be present. This dynamic requires the yoga teacher to possess a different range of communication skills than is typically required in a studio class.

A pivotal skill for effective one-on-one sessions is the ability to Listen. This means listening to the emotional, physical and mental clues that the student is offering. Picking up on these clues helps the teacher to deepen their understanding of the student’s needs and design a practice that is best fit for them. It requires the ability to hold space for the student as you listen and to have a deeper level of self-awareness about our own listening strengths and weaknesses.

We all want to believe we are good listeners, and we are at some levels, however there are multiple levels of listening and we may not be effective in all of them. Nor may we be aware of the obstacles or blocks that get in the way of being able to listen most effectively. Once aware of our own Listening Blocks, we can reframe our approach to listening.

Besides providing more information than any other activity, listening builds deep, positive relationships and tends to alter constructively the attitudes of the listener. Listening is a growth experience.

This session is designed as an experiential learning and personal growth workshop. Using adult learning principles (learn, do, review) it will focus on understanding the necessary theory behind Listening Levels and Blocks.

Specific exercises will be practised to deepen self-awareness of each person’s listening style and will offer the opportunity to strengthen this critical communication skill. Small break out groups will be used for reflection and creation of personal actions for more effective Conscious Listening in the future.

As a result of this session attendees will have:

• an appreciation of the Four Levels of Listening

• an understanding of their own emotional, physical and mental Listening Blocks

• practiced using various listening skills with conscious awareness

• realised the importance of preparation for Open Hearted Listening

• the ability to choose and apply appropriate Listening Level for one-on-one yoga sessions

This is a highly practical and experiential learning opportunity for all teachers wanting to deepen their relationships with their students. When Listening is done with Conscious Awareness connection and healing can occur.

Lucy Karnani and Jill Danks

Lucy and Jill share 40 years of communication skills training and coaching. Lucy trains communication skills in Yoga Teacher Training and Yoga Therapy at The Yoga Institute. Jill is a communication skills and transpersonal coach. Lucy and Jill have co-authored CONNECTING Conscious Communication Skills for Yoga Teachers due to be published in 2018.