The Challenge To Reach Beyond Your Default Language

8:30 PM 0 Comments A+ a-

 Photo from Flickr @clicheshots

We've all heard the phrases "No mud, no lotus" and "Smooth seas don't make good sailors". This week I was gifted the opportunity to see my teaching from an objective point of view. My Baptiste Yoga mentor (Laura) gave me well thought out, constructive feedback on my teaching (as observed in Release Old Toxins & Indra's Net. She helped me see that I've developed a default language in my teaching which doesn't always serve the JIP flow and isn't necessarily what I'd intended to bring to every class. She also helped me see that the different sections of the JIP sequence call for different energy (air, Earth, fire, water) - it makes total sense, but I'd never really given it much thought.

I'd analyzed videos of other teachers to understand the pacing of a class and how to give useful verbal cues for the poses, but I'd never paid attention to the energy the teacher was bringing to each pose with simply the tone of their voice. The Journey Into Power flow takes a yogi on a roller coaster ride beginning with the grounded (Earth) energy in Integration through the fire energy in Igniting then back to Earth with Deep Rest. The feel of the yoga class is completely in the hands of the teacher. Is the teacher bringing a watery, groundedness to the flow with their voice, or are they encouraging the yogis present to aim higher, work their edge by bringing the element of fire to their voice when teaching?

The most recent recording I uploaded (Drop The Judgement) is one I recorded at home, teaching to my neighbors. They have been there for me as willing yogis to allow me to practice my teaching skills while they share their yoga practice with me. I confessed to them that I realize I have a tendency to read from existing works because that is safe. I avoid speaking from my heart when I'm teaching because the voice of judgement in my head says 'they'll think you're weird for saying that' or 'you don't even know what you're talking about, you're just rambling and not making sense'. For this class, I began without a script, without a book to read from and simply spoke my truth about the judgement voice. I called to them to notice if they have a similar voice and encouraged them to not listen to it if they do. I got caught up in my default of teach the poses and breath and forgot to bring them back to the theme that I'd started with.

With each class I teach, I will continue to make space in the words I use to allow the concepts raised in the beginning of class weave their way through the practice like ribbons woven through a little girl's braids. Each teaching opportunity is a learning experience and I'm thrilled to share my journey as a teacher with you reading this, every yogi at Jai Dee (where I teach) and everyone who attends the classes I teach from home.