…it’s still their class!
Here was the progression for me:
- Starting yoga, I would try out a bunch of classes with the idea that more is better.
- Whittle down to a style I’m drawn to…notably Ashtanga yoga.
- Feel pressured into taking teacher training, so I do so somewhat reluctantly.
- Do teacher training, keep taking classes, and practice teaching for free.
- Become a teacher and sign up to teach anywhere and everywhere. Still take classes.
- Get burned out. Cut back on classes I teach. No more volunteering. Stop taking classes.
So, eventually I got away from taking classes and mostly did my own personal practice when I could. I wanted to hone my craft and was working on MY style of yoga. I wanted my own unique brand. And, for the most part, I feel I’ve done that. But…
Unless you seek some outside influence, you stop experiencing what others feel. You stop finding intriguing ways to do what you do. You no longer integrate new words, feelings, and postures. And you grow stagnant and close minded as a teacher.
In the past few months, I’ve found a resurgence of energy. I’ve found a (non-yoga) workout routine that doesn’t completely drain my energy. And I’ve started taking yoga classes again. I went back to Yoga Fundamentals last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. The teacher is so knowledgeable and creative. And since she is adjusting such a large class, you stay in poses forever. In Ashtanga, we stay in poses for 5 breaths, which seems kind of long. But in Fundamentals, it seems like you hold for 5 minutes!!
I’ve also taken classes from newer teachers. I love hearing their perspectives and how they flow. Maybe its not always what I prefer for my body. But its THEIR CLASS. Yeah, I may be a rebel and stop early or go into the next pose too early. But I am still experiencing their breath. Honestly, when you take a yoga class, you are experiencing what yoga teachers prefer for their own bodies. So you are actually doing what they do for themselves. We don’t teach something that doesn’t feel good for our bodies. Although, sometimes I include poses that I am terrible at doing. But I usually only teach what I enjoy.
As teachers, it is good to be open-minded. It’s good to express humility and follow others. No matter who they are, we can learn from other teachers. I go to traditional Iyengar or Ashtanga trained teachers. I go to CorePower or YogaFit teachers. In the end, I learn something and challenge my body. I eliminate my own biases and strengths. And I often find inspiration for my own classes. I see what students enjoy and I can emulate that for them in my classes. Its really about them and not me anyway.
Free your Mind and your Heart will Follow!