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What is Bandwidth?

And how do I use it in my teaching?

As movement teachers, we are often torn between two competing schools of thought around how we teach. Generally speaking, the two options are: do I control with intense precision every movement that my students make, so that they never do a movement that is ‘wrong,’ or do I allow a more freeform approach, so that they can let their bodies move in all sorts of positions and ways before they settle into where I want them to be?

In the world of motor learning, this is an important topic to understand, and it’s called bandwidth. Bandwidth is the margin of error that I allow my students to make – in other words, how much I allow them to be in the ‘not pose’ so that they can feel where the ‘actual pose’ is.

In this video, I discuss with yoga teacher Amanda Tripp the value of bandwidth, and how a little more leeway in your students’ movements might lead to greater overall retention of what you want them to learn.

What’s your approach as a teacher, and what impacted your decision to teach that way? Let me know in the comments!

Bandwidth is the margin of error that I allow my students to make
– in other words, how much I allow them to be in the ‘not pose’
so that they can feel where the ‘actual pose’ is.

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About Sarah

I love to write, and I love concepts and understandings about human movement, which make me a professional body nerd. Former editor of the Yoga Tune Up blog, you’ll find all my current ideas and obsessions here.