CorePower Yoga (CPY) teacher training this past week has left me feeling refreshed, confident, and calm, which has been a pleasant change from the subtle overwhelming feelings that I have gotten after breaking down the postures and learning the cues for each asana.
Last Wednesday in particular, we spent the class practice teaching the integration series through Sun Salutation A (child’s pose through chaturanga dandasana), including the vinyasa flow–breath to movement. Alyssa, one of the teacher trainers, started up the class by going around in the circle as we each spoke the breath and associated posture that came next in the series. This activity was exactly what I needed. Being able to practice the flow of the C1 series, rather than simply choosing a posture and practicing my cues allowed me to become more comfortable with the flow of practicing teaching the class. Additionally, we all learned how to provide physical assists (think “massage”) for child’s pose and downward facing dog. Biggest takeaway? Everyone’s body is different (clearly) and with more practice, I will be able to find those areas of the body that my students will properly feel the assist and it will feel good in their body. Always ask for feedback! On a side note, last night I was able to try those assists on Avery and it was beneficial for me to be able to hear what she had to say about how it felt in her body. All in all, Wednesday night allowed me to hear my own voice teaching, and gave me the confidence in myself and my potential. Being able to say that I knew I had all the tools to become a great yoga guide provided me with peace with regard to my capabilities. I know I can do it–one step at a time.
Saturday’s posture clinic focused on breaking down the postures for the balancing series (eagle, dancer’s, and tree pose), the triangle series (warrior 1, triangle pose, prasarita) and half pigeon. Again, as we move through the C1 series, I am slowly finding myself learning the correct alignment, which continues to challenge my practice each time I step onto the mat. On Sunday, Alyssa went through an anatomy lecture, teaching us different aspects of the body and how they are affected during yoga practice. Two pieces of advice Alyssa gave that are important to note is to take time and practice yoga first thing in the morning, and to take heat out of the practice. For one, practicing yoga first thing in the morning is vital as it is when your body is most honest. Now with regard to taking heat out of the yoga room, Alyssa pointed out that heat can be deceiving. Our bodies can believe that we are more flexible than we are. If we occasionally practice in these settings, we can begin to learn more about our bodies and our practice. I encourage you all to try it out!
This past week, I was able to spend a lot of time attending C1 classes. One of the classes in particular only had 2 students and the teacher. It truly goes to show that what you may have planned as a teacher may not work for your class–and so you adjust. Jenn R. provided a customized class for us, which I found challenging, but still true to the C1 series, and it was admirable to see how she was able to think on her feet and recognize what her 2 students needed. Additionally, I observed a C1 class taught by Elisa, an intern. Observing a class, of course, is much different from attending a class, and took note of many things I know I would learn as a teacher. For one, students don’t listen–a lot of the time. So often, Elisa would provide a cue, and it seemed as if the students did the exact opposite. Additionally, the class was rather small–only five students. One of the students was highly unaligned, and Elisa provided physical adjustments for her. However, after speaking with Elisa after class, she said that as a teacher, you cannot adjust every student for every single posture. Sometimes, they must find alignment on their own. As a teacher, I must learn how to step forward, but learning to step back is just as important. Let your students grow and learn in different ways. What a great lesson.
At the end of the week, Alyssa reminded all of us,
As you begin this journey into becoming a yoga teacher, you have the opportunity to be of great service to your community. There is so much joy in supporting others toward optimal health in mind, body & spirit and I’m excited for you to experience that as this journey unfolds.
I am just as excited.