So I just gave my Second Ever Yoga Workshop today. I’m feeling super-proud and a teeny bit accomplished! But I’m keeping things really modest, baby steps and all. The groups were really small, a handful of students each time, and the second workshop was essentially a repeat of the first for those missed it. Repetition is great for new teachers as well as students!
Not only do I love to share whatever understanding I have of yoga hoping it will help others too, I wanted some opportunity to get to know some students a little better, explore some things a little more deeply than a short vinyasa class permits, and have more time for observing my students bodies, learning to see and then learning how to help.
I often beat myself up not being a better class teacher. So many areas I think are not satisfactory. But then I remember the context: a couple of 45 minute classes squeezed into the working day. I can’t work miracles in that time. I can’t have a deep philosophical theme, a creative asana sequence, be able to offer assists, look after injuries and newcomers, cater to the youngest and most flexible who want a challenge, have enough time for opening meditation and closing savasana… Well, I try to do all these things…
So a workshop was a great way of trying a different way of teaching. We spent 90 minutes each time looking at V2, Side Angle and Triangle. Both times were amazing! And completely different! And I loved every minute! The challenges of bringing diverse students together, practising pronouncing asana names in Sanskrit, warming them up mentally and physically for some really focussed work, helping them find their own best alignment, spending time looking at different bodies and trying to see the glitchy places they haven’t yet noticed and so on, inviting questions and observations, balancing motivating them to look more deeply with reassuring them about the quality of their work. All this stuff — trying to bring all my experiences into what I can offer now as yoga teacher.
We not only got to look at these particular postures at leisure but we also had time for some really interesting side discussions which gave me some insight into their respective experience and interests, and the value they put on the classes I offer. As much as I try to simply offer class, without expectations or attachment to outcomes, I’d have to be a much firmer individual not to feel massively reassured and encouraged by positive feedback.
The students went away looking happy — they certainly all had ideas about what else we could do together in similar fashion, and I’m now trying not to overcommit in a wave of enthusiasm.
Yes, this is a blog post full of self-appreciation. Maybe it sounds smug, especially if you don’t know me — but for me it’s a difficult practice of acknowledging how much I know and can offer to others. And given my hang-ups about the quality of my own physical practice, it was also hilarious (and, yes, rather gratifying) that they verbalised how much natural grace they see in my demonstrated poses and how inspirational I am to them in my physicality! 🙂 Wheeeee!