April 23, 2008

Juggling Asanas

So I taught my first class yesterday. It was a bit of a mixed experience. Some random thoughts:

a) The venue was challenging, a grade school gym in Hartford's north end, set up for gymnastics and tumbling. So a real need to project my voice, lots of distractions, and a lot of space to fill....

b) A good class, with 5 beginners and 1 more experienced yogi.

c) A challenging schedule, with class slated for 3:45 to 4:45 but we never really got into it until nearly 4:00 p.m. (people drifting in) and so it was a shortish practice (I went a bit over). Also, hard to check for injuries when students are coming in minutes into the practice - two of the latecomers ended up having some physical limitations that I had to deal with mid-practice.

d) Note to self - less vinyasa. The beginners in the class found the stepping back into plank, chaturange, vinyasa, parts pretty challenging. After a couple of classical suns, I punted (on the fly) with my plan to do some Sun B sequences into warrior postures, and just stayed on our feet and moved into the warrior postures from standing.

e) Adaptation. One of the students had problems lying on her back for spinal twists, so on the fly I suggested a simple seated twist. I give myself points for that one. But another student, after class, said the spinal twist was painful, and even though I got to her with blocks (to prop her knees) during practice, I should have offered the option of doing the posture with feet on the mat.

f) I picked up 5 inexpensive "yoga kits" at Ocean State Job Lot - including a mat, a strap, and two blocks. So I now have a small bag of travel props (left the mats at home). Yoga To Go.

g) I really struggled with teaching the postures (from my mat) and getting up to adjust people. I found myself looking for places where I could not be on my mat, not demonstrating postures, so I could move through the class.

I have no idea how good the class was, from the student's perspective. I was subbing in for a friend and I'll get feedback from her.

The amusing thing was, before class, I was warming myself up in the gym (alone) and was stepping through various "calm and center myself" postures, including a headstand. I guess some of the students were peering into the window watching me. So they equated "headstand" with "good teacher". I told them at the start if class "no, it only means I can do a headstand.....". Still, after class, one of the students who did not see the headstand (but heard about it) asked me to do one. Heh.....

No comments: