Summary #3 (teaching)

I have no idea where to even begin with this (I guess that's why I've been putting it off).

Whether or not you plan on teaching I think it is important to teach your 1st class. Teaching is as much a learning experience as practicing the yoga. You learn about yourself. Also, it completes the cycle of learning undertaken by executing TT. It conclusively proves to you that you can actually teach a class.

Tonight I teach my 42nd class.
My first week I taught 3 classes. Then I took off on holiday and taught 2 classes the next week. So in the 7.5 weeks since I started teaching I have averaged 5.6 classes a week. Neither of my local studios have the need of a full time teacher, so this is most gracious/generous on their part. Other than occasional fill-in, the studio owners have given up their classes so that I could teach.

Personally it took a few classes before I actually began to enjoy teaching. This was more about me than about teaching itself. I was able to pull off my first class without anyone dying. Actually the anticipation was worse than getting through the class! As per my TT, delivering the dialogue was not 100%, but I did an on-time class and all of the poses. I had to learn to let myself out. Being true and genuine is a fundamental part of being a good teacher... and for being able to enjoy teaching. On the podium it is not about you... it is about relating to the students. It's about looking at the bodies and intuiting who may be ready to hear what message. Some day you're up there and you recognize the signs of defeat that you have seen in yourself... then you hear yourself saying "don't worry how much it hurts, you just come to class... you keep giving it everything you have... your body will heal... it wants to heal... just give it the chance... don't give up on yourself." Inside you're head you have your hands on your hips and are rolling your eyes at yourself. After class when that student comes up to telling you they had given up and hearing u say what u said, knowing that you too knew pain... they have recommitted to their yoga... inside your head the version of you rolling their eyes gets slapped through the face.

Teaching is a journey... the more you put into it the more you get out of it. Reading the dialogue every day is mandatory for me. It's helping too ;) The best tip I got was from Lynn, it was to just say "thank you" to feedback from students. How much they like your class is more about them than about you. Including... it's disconcerting having students tell you how much they love your class and start coming to all the classes you teach (it was bad enough to have them say they wanted to take more of my classes, but to actually have someone come to the class you teach each day is weird). What matters most though is helping students come back. Nothing will help a student more than keeping up with their yoga. Remember that, especially with new students. Can you get them to come back tomorrow?

Things I forgot to mention...

  1. It cannot be said enough... the staff are awesome. They are their to help. If you find yourself in a tight spot mentally/emotionally do turn to them for help.
  2. The vertigo/dizziness I experienced was due to an inner ear issue.
  3. The TT boutique sells smaller versions of the dialogue (laminated) for $25. I got one of each the spiral bound copy (which I now carry in my handbag), and the single ring bound (which was great at TT because you could take out a page or 2 at a time to take with to lectures, bathroom, or even wet and slap on the shower door ;) )
  4. While all the yoga was great for our skin, reducing the need for lotion. In the heat, with the flip flops many of us suffered very dry and cracked heels (some to the point of bleeding).
  5. Increased physical demands typically lead to bodies wanting more protein and/or fat. Give in the the cravings man ;)
  6. Talk to your studio about what to expect when you get back. A few of my fellow trainees have been very disheartened by expectations not meeting reality. Your local studio may have a procedure whereby they build up new teachers starting with only a couple of classes a week (and if y'alls expectin' to be teaching 10 classes a week and are counting on the money from that... it pays to know and make alternate plans), or they may have no actual need of more teachers. Knowing is everything... =D