Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Yoga and Learning English

Has it ever occurred to you that there is a relationship between yoga and learning English?

Most people are very self-conscious when they learn a new language. When they are speaking, they are self-conscious about how they sound, about whether they are making grammatical mistakes, and whether the other(s) can understand them, and more.

Some worry about sounding stupid. 

Worrying about how you sound almost seems to be an intrinsic part of learning another language - because you want the other person to understand you. 

In a yoga class, the teacher says, "Don't look at the person next to you."  In a yoga class, the teacher tells the class to "have your own practice".  The teacher tells the students, "Don't think about how you look, or whether you look beautiful or as good as the person who you've seen in the yoga magazines."

I think there is something here for anybody learning English, or learning any other language.

When you are trying to speak, do you focus on the negative and worry so much about how you sound, or whether you are making mistakes, that you can't get the words out?

Learning a language and making grammatical mistakes go hand in hand.  It takes a while to learn the new system, and the old (your native language) keeps wanting to impose itself on the new.  It takes a long time to learn the new system, and to develop a separation between your first language and your next language.

And if you are learning English (or any other new language), feel good about your undertaking this very worthwhile and rewarding experience.


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