Gratitude for constructive feedback

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I've been working on leveling up my yoga teaching skills recently. I would say it started with Leandra's "Lizard Tail" class, but I didn't start putting concept into creation until I received constructive feedback from my friend Julie Bergfeld after she took my class via Zoom on 8/25/2020. Essentially her feedback was that I should use student's names and be specific on who I am speaking to, it would be helpful if I had a specific theme, and what I spoke to was good, but was enough for two classes worth and I should leave more space (less instructing, more holding space). Her feedback was accurate and helped me get real with how I was holding the container for the students to have a yoga practice. I'd been winging it, waiting for inspiration to hit me with what I could/should speak to during the class. I began deconstructing Leandra's Lizard class, looking for a pattern to work from in order to lead more powerfully.

Julie took my class again on 9/26/2020 and by then I'd themed twelve classes in Leandra's styling & the theme for the class that night was "using resistance as a catalyst for growth". Julie's feedback for me after this class was she wanted to hear more from my share (I'd cut it short) and I say 'good' without directing the encouragement to a specific person.

Luca Richards held a Grow Tips Live webinar on  9/9 on the "The Shape of Sharing" which was all about theming a yoga class powerfully. It took me a while to digest what Luca covered in his webinar, but I began to put it into action in the class on 10/7. Simplifying the theme of the class to a single concept or single word has been my biggest challenge. I started out with "unconditional self-acceptance" and have whittled class themes down to justice, love, connection and gratitude.

This is a mountain with no top. As with everything in life, the only constant is change and as I grow and change how I hold the container of a yoga class, I'm able to look back at the classes I've recorded (especially the videos classes) and see pivotal points in the work that I've been doing to grow as a Baptiste yoga teacher. I'm grateful that video recording your classes was required at the time I was seeking Baptiste certification. I have mile markers that show me messy, hiding and awkward. The first video I made was way back in December of 2016, four months after attending Level One.

In 2017 I was recording classes to apply for Baptiste certification and receive feedback for how my teaching was landing. Messy, awkward, all the cues. First attempt, second attempt and a full class of YTT students I led the same day as the second attempt video. 

Fast forward to June of 2018, I had the opportunity to lead Sunday yoga at the Tampa Lululemon store and I setup the camera to record the 10/31 class at All Y'All Yoga because C. S. Hoback commented on one of my audio classes on YouTube and asked for a new video class. 

Luca says that leading yoga classes is not about you the teacher, it is about the students. Holding the container of the studio space (in person or over Zoom) is all about the students' experience. I'm able to hold the container more clearly as I leave more space, less teaching, more sharing from the space of "I" in a way that creates connection and triumph for everyone listening.

What does all of this mean? It means I'm committed to showing up fully for you. I am committed to honoring and respecting your practice and I am committed to putting my attention on creating more connection.

If you are a yoga teacher and are interested in one-on-one coaching, reach out to Julie or Luca. You'll be glad you did.