Saturday, August 21, 2010

Another Full Day

Well, we had another full day of teacher training and I am now spending some time catching up on a back log of email and so forth. We had a meeting this morning with the teacher trainees. We spent some time in meditation and then with some journal writing assignments. At 10:00 we had 30 or so additional people join us for a 2-hour class that I taught. I worked with theme of being a friend to ourselves and about how we might be loving to ourselves as we practice really hard things. We worked with the loving embrace of muscle energy and did a fair amount of hip opening work, standing pose work and made a foray into some arm balances. I had thought we might get to Visvamitrasana (Friend of the Universe Pose...Get it?) but as it turned out we go to eka hasta bhujasana and astavakrasana which was sufficiently full of challenge and good work.

We had time to debrief the class and then we had a lunch break. We worked in the afternoon primarily on verbal articulation skills with lots of drills to anchor clear, concise language habits. The students responded very well to the structure and to the drills and I think we are outlining some very clear and tangible ways to approach the sometimes daunting task of teaching Anusara Yoga.

I gave the group my own big confession as a yoga teacher today. And that is that I am a very boring teaching in terms of languaging classes. I am not a believer in the "have 25 different ways to say lift your arms up" nor do I get out a thesaurus before I teach or anything like that. I am very repetitive, very precise and very unimaginative as a yoga teacher in terms of instructing postures. I think I am very creative in terms of themes, in terms of sequencing and in terms of what poses I like to present in detail in any given class. So its not that I am not creative, its just I do not apply creativity to verbal instructions. Just the opposite, in fact.

I am a pretty bare bones kind of teacher where movement and action are concerned. I stick very close to the precision John outlined in the manual in terms of our principles and I use the formula "verb+body part+ in a direction" to teach almost everything. (lift your arms up, step your leg back, surrender your weight down, etc.) I also use very simple verbs in that formula- like step, lift, reach and stretch. I am not a big embellisher. I am not a poet. I am a "move your thighs in, reach them back and widen them apart" kind of girl for Inner Spiral and as far as Muscle Energy goes, I pretty much stick to "hug your muscles to the bone, draw to the midline and from your feet draw up into your hips" with very little variety.

Seriously, those of you who know me know that I am likely to say to say the same thing over and over again with very little variety or flair. But that's me. Oddly, I say to do things and my student seem to try really hard to follow my instructions but its funny, its not because I am creative. I think its because I am commanding in the simplicity I offer.

At any rate, that's what I teach other people to do. It is not the only way to teach but it sure is a good starting point. Strip down your language to the bare bones, slowly add in what is essential and then with great persistence stay aware because ineffective language habits when we teacher insidious and can creep in when we are not paying attention.

Anyway- its a fun group to work with and I am enjoying the 70-degree weather!


Barefootlotuss said...

KISS (keep it simple stupid) way works for me as the organizing principle for my body mind and spirit to integrate a new level of kinesthetic intelligence.

Christina Sell said...

exactly! (Or Keep it Simple Sweetheart!)

Anonymous said...