Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Art of Choosing

I'm at the gym,  peddling my way to nowhere on the stationary bike, listening to a TED talk by Sheena Iyengar (not THAT Iyengar) on the art of choosing.  I've included it below.  It gave me this whole new perspective on how people choose which yoga class to take.  I think perhaps we sometimes only find the right class for us by sheer luck.

For instance, she mentions that in one study she put out seven different kinds of soda for the participants to choose.  She was surprised when one person said, that's not a choice, it's all one thing...soda.  So I realize, to someone completely new to yoga, a list different yoga classes with different names is one  It becomes really important to be clear then what a person new to practice wants (even though that may change over time) and needs from yoga at present.

There were also cultural differences related to how one approaches choosing.  Dropping the cultural significance and simplifying, I will say that there are the people who want to figure it out for themselves and people who are more comfortable with  choice assisted by a respected source.  I started thinking about how some yoga systems have structure and lots of adjustments. (A friend once said he would try yoga if he could go to a class where  they would teach him to do it right.)  Other styles of teaching that encourage an exploration that only begins with form but is ultimately INformed by form.  The yoga posture feels right.

It seems to me that not only do we need to help people understand the styles of yoga available but also the styles of teaching available.  Do you want tough love? Nurturing?  Drill sergeant or goddess of mercy? We need to offer  up the explanation of choices in a way that gives clarity rather than judgement...and perhaps a little finesse.

Give the talk a listen.  Even if you don't find yourself relating it to choosing a yoga practice, it's a really interesting look at how we choose.  Sometimes it's art!

1 comment:

gg said...

Thanks Kit! I enjoyed that.