Thursday, February 7, 2008


A Thursday afternoon ritual has been making a quick "lesson" plan for my yoga class that evening. By all rights (these people are paying me after all), I should be carefully crafting this throughout the week so I have a beautifully balanced and flowing sequence of poses to teach well in advance of the Thursday class. But it's me, so this usually gets done in the 60 minutes before class begins. I really enjoy the 15 minutes or so at work I devote to yoga planning each week. As I start thinking of the poses I'll be leading the class through, my mind visualizes not only the physical aspect of each pose, but how I can describe it to the class and what they'll be feeling. It's really calming for me to just do the yoga practice in my head. I don't move any muscles other than what are used to take notes on my paper, but in planning each movement I feel like I have already begun my practice. Yoga for me in the past has either been prescribed to me as in I would do the poses the teacher was leading the whole class in or I would complete a sequence from a magazine; or in that it just came naturally as I would be practicing home and do whatever poses came to mind. So this experience of planning a class has been different for me and a good challenge. At first I would use the classes included in my training book, but I quickly became bored and sensed my students would be also. Over the weeks, I slowly began branching out and trying new poses in different sequences. This made me think of different ways of describing poses and linking them together. It also had me consider the people in my class and how they would react to the poses, their perceived and real limitations.

As I've mentioned before, teaching yoga has been an eye-opening experience and one which continues to surprise me in how I react to it. Who knew my favorite part of a Thursday at work would be stealing a few moments to plan that night's poses?

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