I love listening to TED talks. I especially love searching topics I’m pretty sure none of those dizzyingly fabulous, uniformly successful speakers have anything to say about. So the other day I caught myself searching “Failure.” A taboo subject in America in general, the land of the overnight and over-the- moon success story, the place where super models get spotted on street corners and anyone can get famous for doing nothing on reality TV.

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Students say/ask the darndest things! Here’s a brief sampling, with some suggestions for appropriate responses:

1. Why do we have to chant in Sanskrit?

A: Sanskrit was created by sages who believed that certain sounds generate “good vibrations” in the chanter. Specifically, they were fond of “s” and “sh” and “ay” and “ah” sounds, among others.

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Yoga Teacher Training: "Nevers!"

Most yoga teacher training courses are full of good advice on what to do in your classroom, but they can be a little short on the don’ts. Not sure why. Maybe teacher trainers are reluctant to preempt new teachers’ creativity by setting limits. Or maybe they’re embarrassed to admit the dumb things they’ve done and had to learn the hard way. In that spirit, I’m offering a list of things I hope I’ll never do again when teaching. I hope it spares all teachers and students going forward!

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