The pieces are coming together. I'm starting to hear my own teaching voice developing, my own style of communicating the practice.
And I have my first student! My exceedingly wonderful boyfriend has agreed (with some pleading on my part) to allow me to practice my teaching skills on him. He was a yoga virgin when we started, but we've had three classes so far, and already he's improving. I like to think I'm improving, as well.
Today's class was a full hour and five minutes (I wrote the sequence aiming for one hour -- not far off!), and he did a great job. For our first couple of classes I was gentle, careful not to scare him off, but today I decided to kick his butt just a little with some standing balancing poses and core work... nothing too crazy. He is a beginner, after all, but just enough to grab his attention. He hung in there, though I had to remind him to soften the jaw at nearly every turn. He's a go-getter.
I'm really enjoying our classes together, and I'm learning so much, so fast working with a true beginner. He's holding his cards pretty tight to his chest, but I think he's enjoying the classes, too. He definitely had a bit of the yoga after-glow going on after our class today -- rosy cheeks, little perma-smile and all -- though he'd be likely to deny it if questioned. I am finding his weakening resistance quite endearing.
Teacher training this weekend was pretty great. Friday, we started things off with a very rigorous class. The sequences were so complicated that at no point during the class did I know where we were going or remember where we'd been. It was like walking a mandala, total surrender to the present moment. I had my objections at the time, but I learned a good deal about myself. After the class, we went out for pizza, beer, and group discussion -- a truly sublime combination and much appreciated after that hard-driving class.
Saturday, we discussed the Tao, reviewed some older material, and spent the afternoon on teaching drills. Sunday, we were treated to paddle-boarding at the lake. What's paddle-boarding, you ask? It's like canoing on a surfboard. Why did we go paddle-boarding? Well, they told us it was to work on our balance and posture, but I suspect it was more for a good time. And a good time, it was. We rowed a ways down the lake and practiced asanas on the boards, which are about 8 feet long by 3 feet wide. It was pretty cool playing with balance and gravity on the easily capsized paddle boards, and the standing rowing to and fro was both excellent upper body work and sublimely meditative.
We have quite a few assignments this week. We are to eliminate corn in all its forms from our diet, watch the movie Food, Inc., and to put down our fork (or sandwich, or piece of pizza, etc...) between every bite. We have also been asked to develop and refine our own morning warm-up routines (we've all been practicing a fixed routine -- now we customize it based on our individual needs). We are to conclude our morning routine with a 108 breath meditation -- I worked it out: at my meditation breath rate, this is about 30 minutes. I don't have a problem sitting for that long, but now I'm supposed to count every breath? For thirty minutes? We'll see how that goes.
This coming weekend we've been told it will be all teaching drills, all the time. I'm fine with this. As a matter of fact, I'm glad about this. I like drills. I like drilling, and I like being drilled. Don't you?