To obtain our YTT 200 Hour certificates we have to practice teach for 10 hours, and we also have to observe other certified teachers for 10 hours. I began my observation hours today by watching Shannon, one of the co-owners of Indigo, the studio at which I’m doing my YTT training.
I go to Shannon’s vinyasa class almost every Wednesday night and Saturday morning. These classes are very energetic and challenging – exactly the kind of yoga on which I thrive. However, during YTT Shannon talks often about his lunch-time class, and it sounded like a totally different ball game – a bit slower paced and not quite as intense. As a beginner teacher, I think I will feel most comfortable teaching a slower-paced, more beginners-type class, so I wanted to check this out.
I took today off since I had YTT this weekend – I needed a catch-up day. So I went to the noon class at Indigo and watched Shannon. I learned so much!
1. First of all, I was amazed by the capabilities of the crowd. I would say that at least 50%-75% of the class was past 60 years-old, but Man! They were a flexible, sociable, impressive bunch of yogis. Several of them were way more bendy than me, and they had flawless form.
2. The “feel yourself grown taller through the crown of the head” cue is amazing. Whenever Shannon used it (in Mountain Pose or Vira I or II), I literally saw everyone grow an inch taller. Take that, gravity!
3. People are happy doing yoga. Everyone seemed happy to be in that space, there with their friends, taking care of their bodies, doing something good for their flesh and spirit.
4. It’s easier to see bad alignment when you are looking at a group of people versus just one person. It provides comparison, which is very helpful.
5. I at least have *some* good instincts. One woman looked as if her knee was bothering her. I wanted to give her a blanket for some extra padding, but I didn’t want to interfere with the class. Eventually Shannon came over and gave her a blanket. Validation! I was right. 🙂
6. I wrote down all the asanas that Shannon used, and I’m going to borrow his sequence and use it as a template for some practice teaching. The sequence I have been using is made up of poses I am very comfortable with – asanas that are pretty easy for me to explain. I’ve been shying away from using poses that are a bit more complicated. Borrowing Shannon’s sequence will help bust me out of that comfort zone.
So one hour down, 9 to go. I plan on observing at least 5 different teachers. I think it will be really interesting to examine everyone’s styles.
Next Wednesday I start practice teaching a real class at Indigo – eeeeeeek! Technically one of my co-YTTers will be the primary teacher, and I will be the assistant. It’s still nerve-wracking though! I’m excited and super nervous. I hope I don’t pass out. 🙂
Take care, have a most excellent evening. 🙂