First Day

 In Class Structure

Where do I even start? I have so much running through my head from yesterday’s training I am finding it hard to put words to it all. I know I can say my first day was everything I had hoped for – a supportive group, each member with their own wisdom, all the while being led by an immensely knowledgeable and approachable teacher. It was truly awesome; to assume I would learn at least one thing from every member of this program would be an understatement.

I know I can say I was drained last night! My very sweet husband wanted to go out to dinner and celebrate my first day and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch, listening to my kids retell their “day o’ dad”. This came as a bit of a shock to all of us, as a night to get out of cooking and cleaning up I typically welcome with open arms. Yet, I just had this feeling of both physical and mental fatigue – as if I had just ran my heart out and then took the time to scrutinize every element of my exhausting run afterwards.

I know I can say planning a class has taken on a new significance for me. I have always held a general outline in my head whenever I have taught a class before, but I never realized the many elements that actually need to be taken into consideration when planning. There are several things I already account for whether or not they have been conscious decisions: length of the class; group size; if I’ll be demonstrating poses; if I’ll be assisting others; if the lights will be on or off; the type of music I will be using; the temperature of the room; how long I plan to hold postures; and, if I will be open to student input and suggestions. However, I also found many of the other participants’ suggestions helpful: if I will be combining my yoga classes as part of another group exercise program, such as walking and yoga; if I will be making use of particular smells, such as incense; if I will be chanting; and, if I will have a theme to my session, such as a class focusing on hip openers, back bends or arm balances.

What is more, I know as a result of yesterday I can say I was more conscious when teaching yogini1 this morning. I definitely took the time to put together a more concrete plan to guide my brave beginner yogini. I can also say with certainty that I really strayed from that concrete plan when it came to specific poses and sequencing. It truly seems as though, the more people I teach, the further the mantra that every body is different is reinforced. It’s obvious that a beginner will have limitations in comparison to a more advanced yogini, but it’s also important to remember that a single beginner will likely differ in ability from another beginner. With varying levels of flexibility and strength it seems an outline is all I can continue to go into a class with at this point. I want to ensure a more intimate practice that allows for emphasis where students need it, and doesn’t necessarily focus in the direction I thought students might want to go in that day.

Most importantly, I know I can say “expect the unexpected” could never be more appropriate for me at this point, and I love it!

~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~

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Showing 3 comments
  • candicepeak

    I loved reading this. What teacher training are you taking? 200 hour? I have been going back and fourth about taking a teacher training. I have been practicing for about 3 years. Any suggestions or things to consider before jumping in or maybe waiting?

    • niyamanotebook

      Hello Candice and thank you for taking the time to not only read my thoughts but add in your own. I have just started my 200hr certification through Yoga Vermont ( Like you, I have been contemplating a yoga teacher program for some time. I ultimately chose a program that matches the style of teaching I am most interested in, allows flexibility (for example there are accelerated programs offered but in my case I am looking for a longer program that works around my family’s crazy schedule), and offers a format of instruction that will work for my learning style. Whether you choose to embark on this adventure now or in the future please continue to learn with me and comment – it truly helps and encourages me!

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