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Yoga Teacher Training is going a lot better than expected this week. On Day 4 we practiced our Sun Salutations again. This time, I had to actually “teach” the class in a sequence of Sun Salutation A three times. Although I’d been practicing them at home (and practicing on my husband and my teenage daughter), it’s still completely different when you have to go in front of the class and teach. One thing that I never thought about before I started Yoga Teacher Training is the number of cues that you have to give throughout the course of the class. When you are a student, you just listen to the postures and directions and go into the form but as an instructor, you have to be aware of each move that each person is doing and also understand that different people are on different levels.
Another key factor is timing. As a yoga instructor, your job is to keep the class at the same pace. This can be difficult especially when everyone doesn’t breathe at the same pace. I learned today to find one person in the room who seems to have an average breathing pattern and then pace myself (and the class) against that person.
Although I was super nervous, everything turned out okay. I wasn’t the best one in the class but one of the things that I’m learning about the practice of yoga is to stop comparing myself to everyone. Work at my own pace. After I finished doing my Sun Salutation segment, I felt relieved. It was very beneficial to see everyone teaching their sequence when it was their turn because I was able to hear a lot of different cues and some of them I may keep as my own!
Multiple Sequences and Building my Endurance
Probably the most challenging part would be since we have 14 people in the class when our group went up, we had to go through 3 sequences for each person. That can be a lot on your body! It’s par for the course, however. I know that I have a long ways to go to get my body in the shape it needs to be in for me to really practice yoga the way that I want to and practice makes perfect. It’s certainly harder to hold certain postures and maintain your balance if you don’t have the required strength.
One of our instructors has the best form and posture that I’ve seen yet. I asked her if her body was naturally flexible or if she got better the more she practiced. She shared that she definitely improved once she started yoga teacher training and as she has practiced over the years, she’s gotten better and better. That is very encouraging for me as I sometimes get discouraged because my practice prior to training was so irregular and lots of the positions are difficult for me.
I made a strong commitment to myself to practice even more over the next few weeks. In addition to morning practice, I want to build a few minutes in for the evening. After this weekend, we will have 3 weeks until our class meets again. I want to make sure that I make those weeks count.