Yoga in Small Groups

partneryoga seated

Summer is near and all I want to do is be outside. I think the yogis who usually attend my classes feel the same way.

Last night was a blessing in disguise. I had 3 people in Ashtanga for Beginners. They were two of my regulars and one fellow CrossFit’r. I usually thrive on larger classes, but then my one-on-one interaction decreases because I’m focusing on so many. With 3 people, they get all my attention.

I divide up the Ashtanga Primary Series into four “related” sections that we do over four weeks where poses build upon one another. I would say our peak pose was Bhujapidasana “shoulder-pressing pose”. We worked it from blocks learning to find our balance in the pose first. We moved on to Titthibasana “firefly pose”. I had them up on chairs for this one so they could feel it without falling backward. And then Kurmasana “tortoise pose” for the last one on top of bolsters. It was so much fun to share with this small group. We laughed and talked and asked questions.

With a little extra time left, we worked on Mayurasana “peacock pose” with a strap wrapped above our elbows. Everyone got different variations of the pose. Then we did Chakrasana “wheel pose” (where you roll from sitting backward to chaturanga). Nobody really got that one, but I think they have more confidence to practice. Following Chakrasana was Nakrasana “crocodile-hopping pose”.

Lastly, we did the closing sequences, which includes Padmasana “lotus pose”. A limiting element for me is tightness in my hip flexors. So projecting onto my students, I had them lay down with legs up the wall. Then, we slowly worked into half-lotus on each side. Its nice because you can find more depth when you are not resisting in the hip flexors. Then, I had them try Padmasana, and two of them did it without any problem. It was amazing!

To be honest, the greatest feeling for me as a yoga teacher is to get people to their “firsts” in anything. It could be headstand, lotus, or any other pose. And it is especially wonderful if it is because of something creative, innovative, or motivational on my part that got them to the next stage. It is the best feeling in the world! And sometimes, this happens when I get to spend a lot of time in smaller, more intimate settings. I really love it!

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