Teacher Training: Week 7

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?


  1. isnt Food inc the saddest movie? Every time I think of it, I think of those poor chickens...

    congrats on your first student! I tried to get my boyfriend to do yoga with me and it lasted about 5 minutes, so I am going to try again soon :)

  2. i'm glad it's going so well for you. i've never seen food, inc but my husband teaches it in his classes at the community college so i feel like i have the darn thing memorized. it's very illuminating.

  3. Ah, the partner guinea pigs! Love it! I did the exact same thing.

  4. Brittany - I haven't watched it yet, but I've heard the horror stories. I'm reluctant to watch the movie since I am recently un-vegetarianized...

    Jamie - Food, Inc. is taught in classes? Wow. I didn't know it was quite that pervasive.

    Babs - Thank goodness for supportive partners.

  5. Hooray for yoga with your lover! When we first met, my partner was a yoga skeptic, but over the years she has become a yogini in her own right, and my best student, too! I find it's important to the relationship to make sure that I also try to learn something she's good at, to maintain the balance. If only I were as adept at managing my financials as she is at yoga LOL!

  6. wow! in a roundabout way I came across pictures of a yoga group paddling boarding and doing asana... and then today i read your blog, so i went looking for some red red curls :) i feel like a bloggy stalker! looks like sooo much fun. i love it!

  7. La Gitane - Excellent point on finding balance in the relationship by learning the loves of your lover. I'll try to keep that in mind.

    Alice - Well, whaddya know? Even the internet is not as big as we think it is.

  8. @Misanthropic- yes, you need to watch the student-teach dynamic. It's one thing in the classroom but personally I don't think we should bring it home. Otherwise it might go to our heads! Oh, fragile ego... ;)