Saturday, August 13, 2011

In the Thick of It

We are in the thick of Teacher Training here in Tucson and I am having an amazing time.

I think the thing I like most about teaching Teacher Training is how much I learn every time. Not only do I get a chance to reflect on the practice of teaching, clarify what I think about it, and refine my articulation of various concepts and challenges related to teaching, I also get a chance to practice my skills all week since we do some much skill building exercises throughout the week. Its like getting a teacher training for myself!

I re-worked the curriculum for this training and strream-lined it, simplified it and I think its the best Part One me and Darren have ever done. I think the material is perfect for the group- manageable, appropriately challenging, informing and inspiring. I feel really good about it.

One recurring theme for me that keeps coming up is how important the basics are. I actually love refined teaching and interesting sequences and nuanced instructions but it is very clear to me that Part One Teacher Training is not about that at all. It is about teaching people to do a good job with the basics- like getting people into and out of the poses well, instructing with the breath, being economical with ones words and so on.  The better we are at the basic skill set, the more effective our teaching is going to be.

So its been a big foray into super basic teaching fundamentals and the students are doing well with it. As the year progresses we will get to add more details to the instructions and more refinement to the presentation but I am firmly convinced that if teachers everywhere were doing the basics well, the world of yoga would be a better place. Just like in asana, the basics are not necessarily easy to do.

Its tie for me to get some sleep so I am not going to write for very much longer. Tonight I taught a class at Yoga Oasis East which was super fun. We had 48 people show up which packed the room to capacity and we worked on drop backs. I used the theme about creating refuge within our bodies and becoming beacons of light as a result of being anchored. We worked a ton with Inner Body Bright and just about everyone in the room learned how to drop back and stand up. It was super fun. The students were receptive and joyful and  we really had a good time.

Well, I have lots of gems and insights rockin' around inside but I need to turn my mind off for a while and so perhaps tomorrow I will dive into that treasure trove. I had so many very interesting conversation that made me really think this week. I think thats the sign of a great training- getting asked interesting questions! Sure there are the predictable, always-asked Level 1 appropriate questions that we expect. And then there are the deeper questions of personal inquiry that people explore and invite me into and that is rich territory indeed.

I am thinking about a lot so stay tuned.


Amy Jo said...

Hi Christina!
I'm a long-time reader of your blog, but have never commented before. I just wanted to thank you for the time & energy you put into this space. Your posts are always juicy, inviting us to step deeper into ourselves and our lives. My teaching & practice benefits from the time I spend here, most certainly. Thank you!

Vasanta said...

Christina, what an awe-inspiring super-accessible heart-lifting joyful class you gave last night! The beauty of well-taught yoga is simultaneously communicating the effort and the ease of the poses. Thank you for the gifts of your teaching!

Stephanie E-R.Y.T. 500 said...

I was thinking about this quote and planning a class themed around it. Then I read this post and it just reverberated my thoughts. "Learning is finding out what you already know; doing is demonstrating that you know it; teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers." I think it's Iyengar, but I can't swear to it.