April 14, 2012

First Classes Successful!

Wow, what a surreal experience.  I taught two classes on Thursday to two separate PE 12 classes.  First off, I don't think I've interacted with a teenager since I was in high school.  Second, they are so much younger than I ever felt at that age!  Third, they were there because they had to be so it was a little different then working with students in the mysore room who WANT to learn yoga.

My first class was bumpy.  I had nothing prepared  - I didn't know what to prepare, any time I tried to write up a lesson plan I felt lost so I decided I would just teach what I practiced.  Easier said than done when you've got 20 awkward teens trying to understand what you're telling them to do.  It was so much easier walking my brothers through a class.  I got a little lost and while I definitely kept my cool, I was unsure of myself and I finished the class 10 minutes early because my mind drew a blank.  I discovered the students really liked the balancing poses, they had fun with them, they hated downward dog - so much grumbling and I must admit this intimidated me a little bit.  I felt a little deflated after the first class but I gathered myself and took myself for a coffee armed with my David Swenson practice book and my notebook and made a lesson plan.  I wrote down the asanas in groups of three so that I could easily repeat three asanas again if I needed to extend the time.

For the second class I felt much more confident.  I was prepared and ready.  I took control of the class and joked about the complaining that a few of them did.  I took my time getting them to poses.  I added in Tree (Vrksana) and Warrior 3, which is similar to Balancing Stick in the Bikram class.  I actually didn't have enough time to finish everything I planned to teach.  I think that next time I will choose less postures and do them a couple times.  I want to stay true to the Ashtanga system but I also feel as though kids, who are being essentially forced to try yoga, need a little different approach.  I also need to find my footing as a teacher :)

If I already noticed a huge difference between the first and second class, just imagine what is to come.


Yolk E said...

Very cool! I'm thinking your first day went VERY well. They weren't hanging from the rafters! And remember, this is probably your toughest audience of all, and this is where you're STARTING as a teacher. Give yourself some cred.

Regarding downward dog grumbling, feel free to occasionally acknowledge the monotony of that pose. For most folks, esp teenagers, holding still for five breaths is soooo hard. Acknowledging that it's *hard* to hold this posture for five breaths and offering occasional praise for getting through it (even when they're messing around) might encourage them to take it seriously.

Rambling... teaching is a skill. You will get there! Good work!

Anonymous said...

Well done!
Be proud of yourself....
Just for info, I haven't practiced yoga for 8 years now, but I was NEVER a real fan of downward dog, maybe I was doing it wrong, but I didn't like being upside down for five breaths !
Bravo ma belle :-)

YoginiBear said...

Yay! Congrats, J!