Today we spent the better part of the day training and I was really fascinated by hearing my teachers personal stories of her journey. She has had quite a bit of experience with different styles of yoga and world renowned teachers so she had a lot of stories to share with us...like when Bikram Choudhury called a trainee fat and told them to give him half of their sandwich! haha and about Iyengar forcibly twisting his almost paralyzed granddaughter into postures only to leave her there for long periods of time. (This inevitably helped with her physical issues.) Not only that but realizing that to teach one really has to be on mentally sharp and on-point all of the time to be able to remain in control of a class. God forbid someone hurts themself, breaks down in tears, shouts out commentary, walks in and interrupts the class. You have to be able to deal with all of these things and not break the flow. Challenging and intimidating thoughts... When you're just a student you look at things in a completely different way but being in front of a class is a whole different ball park. I suppose I knew this but my eyes were really opened up to it today in a big way. We did some practice teaching and it really was quite difficult. I found that I was so self-conscious of how I sounded that I found it hard to verbalize strongly. Of course, it is the beginning of my training so practice makes perfect but I realize that I need to dedicate serious time to recording myself and creating classes to teach to my friends and family members. When I took on this training...my main motivation was not necessarily to teach but to deepen my own practice, learn more about myself and gain a great experience with the possibility of teaching a few classes here and there more extra income. I was offered a place to teach my classes recently out of the blue by an acupuncturist that hired me on to do clerical work once per week. So now the idea of teaching is much more real to me and my demographic of students will probably be middle aged to older with physical injuries and ailments (hence the need for the acupuncture therapy). Normally, I gravitate towards a more dynamic, hot, vinyasa flow incorporating intermediate postures, arm balances, inversions etc. but I need to learn how to take people through a very gentle and slow-placed class. This can be so much more difficult than leading a strong class. I'm excited to learn more about yin yoga which works deep into the connective tissues. I think this would be a good style to offer at the acupuncturist office. Long holds of postures working into the connective tissues of the body.
I also have some exciting things lined up for the next couple of months. I'll be taking a 4 day ashtanga workshop with Mr. David Williams who is allegedly the first American to be taught ashtanga yoga by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. (I say allegedly because I watched Enlighten Up! and they said Norman Allan was the first.) Anyway, lately I've become interested in delving deeper into the world of ashtanga and beginning a daily practice. It is a big commitment and quite demanding but I think the discipline, dedication and stability of it would be good for me. I am used to taking led classes and just letting the teacher guide me along but an ashtanga home practice would force me to focus more deeply on my own mind, my own breath count, my own flow etc. Tomorrow morning we will be doing a full primary series flow at the studio so I'm looking forward to that. Also, I just signed up for a 4 hour workshop in February with Dharma Mittra in Key Biscayne which I'm very excited about. When I see pictures or video of Dharma Mittra I just feel that I would really love him. He seems to be such a strong spiritual being and a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.
Will all that said, my brain feels a bit like mush tonight after so much information being thrown at it today.