Becoming a better yoga teacher

I've been teaching an Introduction to Yoga enrollment class at AYM for the last 5 weeks - we wrap up next Saturday. Big news, right? The honour of being asked to teach at the school that trained me. The immense confidence being placed in me by the people I respect most...

You can understand why I didn't mention it until now. I was worried that if it didn't go well, I would have to admit failure.

The good news is - the whole experience has been nothing short of great!

Up until March, I've been teaching multi-level and level 2 classes. The challenge has always been how to keep the students motivated and challenged. Although there are always a few beginners that I have to keep an eye on, my classes mostly comprise students with a basic knowledge of yoga and basic body consciousness.

I worried about how I would connect with students with almost no knowledge of yoga and even less body awareness. Not only did I have to slow down my instructions - but I also had to find a new language, new words.
  • Simplify physical instructions - say "lengthen" rather than "extend"
  • Avoid anatomical terms - most people don't know where their femur is
  • Make prop use mandatory
  • Focus on proper breathing techniques
I had to reprogram my thought patterns, dialing back from Advanced(ish)-brain to Beginner-brain. The trick that helped me make this transition?

Breathing and staying calm to open up the necessary brain space.

I certainly went over my notes and practiced instructions in the silence of my room, but it was the ability - in the moment - to not panic that allowed the skills and knowledge I possess to float effortlessly to the surface.

It's in me - and it's been inside me the entire time. What else can I unlock if I take this grace into other aspects of my life? What about you?

NB. A big thanks to my teachers Allison, Eugene and Jessie, for preparing me these last two years, and to Jeanne for her continued guidance. Their support has helped me to find grace.


roseanne said...

inspiring! i can't wait to try out one of your classes. and to co-teach with you!

ad said...

Me too!