Monday, January 12, 2015

A Twist on Teaching

I am gearing up to teach my first yoga class in a studio.  For years I’ve taught elementary teachers and students in my classroom or at a common space at my school.  I’ve taught my fellow yoga teachers in training a few poses at the studio, but I have not yet taught an entire class at a yoga studio.  I am equally excited and terrified by this upcoming opportunity. 

I am well prepared, I have been planning and practicing my sequence for over a month.  But the thing about teaching at a studio is, you never know who might show up.  You might get an advanced student who has been practicing for a decade, right beside a novice who is coming to their first class.  While doing this type of teaching differentiation is second nature for me in the elementary classroom, I am still learning how to modify poses for yoga classes.  Will I know what to do in order to challenge my veteran students, what if a student is unable to do a pose, will I be able to give them access to that stretch at their level?  So many questions, so many unknowns; this is what makes the prospect of teaching yoga equally thrilling and scary. 

Having just completed my fourth intense yoga weekend,  I am very pleased that our instructors have had us teaching each other since day one.  Each time I attend my classes, I am practically giddy at the beginning of the weekend, about all the new material I will learn.  By the end of the weekend, though physically exhausted and humbled by how much I still have to learn, I feel a sense of accomplishment.  Not just because I made it through 12 hours of yoga (no, not all of it is asana but the physical demands are intense if the student embraces every opportunity to practice.).  But mainly because I am actively pursuing a passion, trying to find ways to share it with family and friends, and just in general inviting more of this healthy experience into my life.

Do I look a bit reluctant in this photo?  I was gearing up for a weekend of twists and inversions.  I have never spent so much time upside down in my life!  (Believe it or not, it was so much fun!) 

For those of you interested in taking a yoga class from me, here is your first chance.  This coming Saturday 1/17 at 1pm, I’ll be teaching an all levels class at Claremont Yoga.  It is a one-hour class with a suggested donation of $10.  If you can join me, I would be delighted to help you open your heart to the New Year and welcome a yoga practice into your life.  (Do not fear, I will not invert you during your first class!)  

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