Day 8, by Kristy Alpert
Today marked the halfway point in the program. It also marked my biggest breakthrough on the teaching mat. A few days ago we sectioned off into two groups of 10 and were each given about eight minutes or so to teach a section of a full yoga class. One person taught the breathing, one taught sun salutations, another tackled a few standing poses, etc.
The morning started with our team of 10 putting together a pretty rocking yoga class for the rest of the class, switching out after each person’s specific section finished. I stood up to teach an open hip series that I was comfortable with doing and teaching for the group, and, although I got through it and finished almost exactly on time, I glanced around the room while walking off the teaching mat and saw faces of fatigue.
Although I may have checked off all my boxes with my routine, I hadn’t even considered the fact that my section had to fit into a larger class where the students may have been tired or may have needed something else entirely. I realized almost instantly that I wasn’t gauging the class and I was forcing a routine on them that wasn’t a fit for the moment or the tempo of the class. I wasn’t living in the moment; I was in my own head.
That may be a “duh” concept to most of you; but for someone like me who is used to pushing myself with my practice and sticking to a workout pattern or routine, it was a game changing revelation.
Yandara’s program somehow manages to reinforce the strengths for each student while revealing areas of improvement; and it’s different for everyone. Meditation may be the biggest eye opening practice for the students whom teaching comes naturally, and pose breakdowns and teaching workshops may be the biggest hurdle for the students that are naturally intuitive. Now that we’re all getting the hang of the daily flow, it’s been really cool to see how we’re all becoming balanced teachers by gleaning from each other’s strengths to improve any areas of our own weaknesses.
There’s no doubt in my mind that anyone considering teaching yoga (no matter his or her current level of “yoga proficiency” or skill level) would benefit in almost every aspect imaginable by making it through Yandara’s training program.
Packing tip of the day: Running shoes. If you’re a runner or feel the need to get in some cardio throughout your day, it’s a great idea to bring some sort of running gear or even resistance bands. The yoga sessions held throughout the day are designed to teach you the entire range of the practice, so if you’re a calorie-torching power yoga fanatic, realize that you may need to sweat on your own time occasionally.