First teaching lesson- Naomi

I taught my first yoga lesson today at my weekend make up class. For some reason I had this strong feeling I would draw the lucky straw today (it was cute skull drawing. Happy Halloween!) so I wasn’t really shaken by it.

And because of this weird huntch, I had only slept for 3hrs the night before to create a sequence and practice one round before hitting the studio. Boy am I glad I did! Because my first practice round at home was brutal not to say the one in the studio was perfect, but it was much better than the first.

I am very glad I was able to teach in this class because today was my 2nd day with the weekend crew. I didn’t have much insight on their asana habits or their body tendencies etc. which made it closer to a real live teaching scenario. However, the sweetner to all of this was that they were YTT students, which meant they knew what they were doing so I only had to focus on understanding any interesting habits or inabilities, rather than focusing on whether they understood each asana. As a first timer teaching a class, that was more than enough to keep my mind preoccupied.

I never fully appreciated the work the teacher’s had to go through during the 1hr of class until this YTT course. I was always amazed at how a teacher could talk and do an advanced pose at the sametime. But never did I appreciate the amount of concentration required to control the class, say the sanskrit, keep at a comfortable pace, verbally explaining what to do (right vs left… which side was it again??? Hmmm what’s that verb to describe what I need?? Tuck, lengthen, straigthen, push, pull etc etc. arggghhh? What’s that body part?? Ouch I said toe but that didn’t make sense! It’s the HEEL! Hmm Inhale or Exhale??), engaging the practioners’ facial expression to better understand what they are feeling AND try to ensure the practioners are aligned correctly. My brain was running at full capacity. I had forgotten Virabardrasana 2 on the left standing sequence and only realized after the class told me during feedback. I had left out one asana entirely, Supta Bandha Sarvangasana, and I didn’t realize until I came home and re-read my sequence. Although I felt very present and aware during the class, I realized I need to practice many more teaching classes (obviously) to allow my brain to have more capacity to see the bigger picture. I also need to learn to use my timer! I ended my class in 45min. My timer had told me 42min but I ended the class because I had forgotten to start the timer until midway. I thought I should add about 10min to the clock, only to find out my timer wasn’t on for 3min… Ha! I just love how it feels like eternity when you’re experiencing something for the first time.

I’d like to thank everyone in the weekend class for giving me a warm, loving, and supporting feeling during my first experience teaching.

Naomi