The Most Effective Preparation for a Good Life
This past weekend, I completed a 50-hour training in “Advanced Teaching Methodology” at Three Queens Yoga. I started this training in May and have been immersed in homework, practice exercises, and conversations that have helped me refine my yoga teaching which, in turn, has helped me refine why I’m teaching yoga and how I can be of service to yoga students and even to those in my acupuncture practice as I continue learning about biomechanics and embodied somatics.
Of all the training modules in my 300-hour certification, this one scared me the most. We did a lot of teaching in front of our peers which is always vulnerable (at least for me) and we got a lot of tough and honest feedback.
The last weekend of the training consisted of everyone in the training teaching each other a neary full-length yoga class that we had worked on for months. I normally spend a few hours planning a class (if that) so working on one class for months meant that I really had the chance to examine every little nuance.
After I had a chance to pull the class apart and put it back together multiple times, I practiced teaching it to a fellow trainee. I also practiced teaching it in my Beginner’s Yoga class and my weekly donation-based Breathe and Be Wednesday mornings on Zoom (join me there sometime, the next class will be Wednesday 11/1)!.
Practicing more before the weekend began felt futile, so I decided to prepare for the weekend with relaxing and self-care.
The day before the training, I got a lovely Ayurvedic (ancient Indian medical system) oil massage with Neha Patil, who I go to monthly. I added on that extra session the day before the training just to make sure I felt balanced and relaxed.
I also reminded myself to be of service while I taught. To not just teach to “get it over with” (I allowed the teacher to pick when I taught rather than trying to control the flow) or to “finish up” the training but to really be there and be available to my students. This helped me teach fluently and well.
At this point in my practice, the most important component of teaching yoga is being natural, authentic, present, and committing to really seeing my students and helping them wherever they are at.
On my best days of my teaching, it’s not the class I planned that makes the class great, it’s my presence and my capacity to be there for the students.
On my best days, I respond dynamically to the energy in the room, taking the challenge up and down as needed, helping my students modulate their breath and their energy output.
This modulation is an excellent exercise for life. What do you need to relax, to allow, to enjoy things as they are and to show up ready to adjust your energy output as needed?
Autumn is all about reconnecting with your own heart, your own values and needs and authentically connecting to others. When you're clear on what you’re offering and why, you can show up and be you and be as brilliant and amazing as you actually are.
May you take the time to take care of yourself so that you can shine in service.
So much love to you,