top of page
  • Writer's pictureSarah and Martin Moesgaard

The TrainMovePlay Teaching Philosophy

What we believe about teaching and learning, and how our beliefs manifest in our practice and classes.

We have a combined 30+ years of teaching children, adolescents, young adults and adults; athletes, dancers, gymnasts, yogis, fitness enthusiasts, movers, and total pedestrians who would not self-identify as movers of any kind; groups of over a hundred people and in private sessions; in gyms, living rooms, studios, halls, schools, universities, clubs, and parks on three continents. We had a fairly wide range of teaching experiences forming our separate ideas on teaching.before we ever started teaching together. And now, after a few years of living, working, moving, and teaching together, we have developed a common teaching philosophy. It is pretty simple:

1. We can’t teach anyone anything.

We can’t know what a movement feels like in your body. We can’t climb into your mind and place awareness nor knowledge there. But we CAN create an environment that is ripe for learning, encourage a person’s natural curiosity toward a subject, filter focus by drawing light toward the important factors of a process while dimming the light on less important ones, and provide tools that we have encountered in our own experience that have helped us make important discoveries.

What does that look like?

We ask questions. For example, in a yoga class, we may guide the group into a down dog and then ask, “ What happens if you place more weight into your right foot and left hand? What foes it feel like in your neck and shoulders if you rotate your upper arm bones externally? What changes can you make in your pose to feel your hands lighter on the floor? etc.”

2. The teaching/learning environment is an ongoing calibration.

What works for us or someone else may or may not work for you and THAT’S OK. We all learn at our own pace, in our own time and in our own way. And because we are constantly evolving, we learn differently at different places in our lives. We share what works for us, because it MAY work for you. And we also want to LISTEN to the discoveries you make, because those may work better for someone else, or even for us, later down the road. Basically, there is no one-size-fits-all way to go about anything.

Martin guiding a conversation about bone-stacking

What does that look like?

We leave room for variation. For example, we might provide a demo of an acroyoga pose and then ask, “Where do you see the most important bone stack here? What is creating integrity in his pose?” And then, when different students see different things and give different answers, we can all discuss those together. We might ask everyone to go out and try the pose putting emphasis in different places, and then regroup and discuss what worked best for everyone. All answers and experiences are valid, so we have to be willing to leave space for someone to say the exact opposite of what we would say.

3. Movement is not the goal; it is a TOOL for self-awareness.

The movement we teach is secondary to the real lessons. In our classes, We hope people find space and opportunity to develop skills in communication, trust, relating to other humans, and dealing with conflict, as well as how to meet the edge of the comfort zone. Movement is the vehicle, but being a fuller, more awake, more skillfully connected person is the destination.

What does that look like?

We draw attention to the human side of what we are doing. For example, in a recent acroyoga class, we taught poses, but the theme of the class was "Celebrate the mistakes." We saw the theme in the warm up when we played a game where we looked for "wrong" ways to sit in a chair, ie. backward, upside down, under the chair, etc. Then we all applauded when someone found a new "wrong" way to sit. It both stimulated creativity and also set the mood for a class where we could laugh at our own "mistakes" and consider them avenues for new ideas rather than failures. We also saw the theme in the discussions between poses. For example, rather than leading in with, "Who got the pose?!," we led the discussion with, "What wonderful new mistakes did you make?!" In this way, we make acroyoga poses the vehicle, but the more important take-away is the hour we spent sitting with the idea that none of us is perfect and we are all constantly making mistakes. We also posted a vid of us falling out of one of the poses that we had just taught as another way of manifesting this theme after the class ended!

What is your philosophy on teaching?

What do you believe are the most important aspects of teaching movement?

What, in your experience, makes a good teacher?

How do you take your beliefs about teaching and learning and inject them into your classes?

bottom of page