I taught my first class at Love Yoga Co-op last night. Two lovely, skilled students attended. Was it enough to cover my rent for the space? No. Was it a valuable teaching experience for me and a good practice for my students? Yes and yes. As it turned out, both of the students were also teachers themselves, which made my job very easy. They both had strong personal practices, which came as a relief because I had a pretty challenging sequence prepared for the class. They flowed through it beautifully.
We began by establishing a foundation for the practice, moving up the body from the toes to the shoulders, grounding through the legs and expanding from the heart. Then we built the Salutations slowly, beginning with the movement of the arms, then half salutations, Surya Namaskara A, and finally Surya Namaskara B. Then we added on a little more with a short warrior sequence, then we added on a lot more with an extended warrior sequence, really working into the leg with all manner of balancing and twisting before moving on to the other side, pausing in downward dog to notice the difference in sensation between the two legs and feel the effects of the practice. Then, a little arm balancing, a bit of backbending, a little hip opening, a splash of core work, an inversion, a tiny heart opener, and final rest. I think it was a damn good class.
I absolutely love this venue, and while I do hope a few more people show up in the coming weeks, having just two students to work with allowed me to speak to their bodies and target exactly the issues I observed as we moved through the practice. I did not play any music, which let me hear the breath of the students and conduct the energy of the room more completely. I felt really good about the class afterward, when I'm usually kicking myself for holding the poses too long or talking too much or not enough, etc, etc, etc... though I believe I may be my own harshest critic. Fortunately, it isn't my experience that's most important when I teach; it's the students' experience, and they generally leave class sweaty and happy. I am realizing that my job isn't that hard if I just step back and let the yoga do it's work.
I'm teaching another class tonight at Black Swan Yoga, the Night Cap class at 8:45 in the downstairs studio. There will be luxurious side stretches and hip openers aplenty if I have anything to do with it, which I do. If you're in Austin and cramped up with the Mondays, grab your mat and come get your stretch on!