I taught my second community (aka free) class at Indigo on 5/20. Here are my notes for the class, so you can get a general idea of what I covered.
Sorry for the poor quality of the picture, but if I wait to get a better scan, I’ll never end up making this post. :)
I wanted to design a class that would be relaxing, help people to sleep well, and that would target some common areas of pain for people – shoulders & wrists. I think that’s probably too many things to focus on in one class, but I’m new and learning, so why not try it and see if it works, right? Right??
I started out the class the same way that Max Strom started out our day-long intensive at the Dubuque Yoga Fest – with chest breathing in the easy-cross-leg position, a gentle twist, and then chest breathing in horse stance. I made some (what I considered to be) hilarious quip about horse stance being named such because it looks as if you are riding a horse. The class indulgently smiled at me. Yoga students are so nice.
I did far fewer sun salutations than I did during my first class. I filled the void with more therapeutic moves – wrist stretches, twists, lots of child’s poses. I also kept reminding people to relax their faces – especially the furrow between the eyes (my furrow is over-developed and needs massive amounts of work!). I also encouraged them to put that slight Mona Lisa smile on their face.
Then I closed the class with a gratitude meditation. I encouraged people to think about someone indispensable to their joy and happiness. I asked them to steep their bodies in that positive emotion during the 5-7 minute savasana. As savasana wound down, I walked around and put a little card on everyone’s mat. I spent 5 minutes that morning cutting up watercolor paper and writing “GRATITUDE” on the slips of paper in purple ink. Next to the word, I drew a little smiley face. :) When I closed the class, I told them they could take the cards as a reminder to focus on the things they are grateful and to keep smiling.
I stole/borrowed that idea from Sadie Nardini. She said she gave Hersey’s Kisses or other little treats to her students to show how appreciative she was that they came to her class and enabled her to live her dream. I really liked that idea. Plus I have shit ton of art supplies because, you know, some day I’m going to become an artist. This was a good reason to use some of them up.
The class of 14 was over 30% filled with my friends and loved-ones, which really helped keep me calm. But even people who are not beholden to love and support me really seemed to enjoy the class. As people were walking out, everyone was smiling and chatting. It made me SO happy that I was able to help a few people become a little happier for an evening.
So, again, I totally loved teaching again. Shannon said something today that really rang true to me. He said that teaching is a meditation. And I can totally see that. You can’t focus on anything else. You need to stay in the moment and focused.
My next community class isn’t until 6/17, but on the 11th I’m teaching a group of friends after work, and then in late June I’m teaching a lunchtime yoga class at work. I’ve received clearance from HR to officially teach a class at work, but I’m doing a practice session with my close work-friends first. If that goes well, I’ll send an invite out to our whole branch and see who shows up. I’m really nervous about that one though – teaching yoga to people I kind of know and who I want to think well of me is intimidating! All these people know the work/Project Manager/Business Analyst -Heather. Not the yoga-Heather who measures chakras and has been annoying all her office-mates with YTT news over the past 6 months.
Speaking of which, YTT is drawing to a close. Our last day together is the 17th. I am SO SAD it’s ending. But I’m so happy I experienced it. I am so happy I signed up for this class.
Well, that’s it for the night. It’s time for me to crash. As always, thank you for reading! If you’re a fellow yoga-lover or teacher, please let me know what you love and/or hate in classes that you take or teach.