Tag Archives: yoga class

Mis-Reading Yoga Energy

yoga-energy-studio

As a yoga teacher, some days are better than others. Most of the time, we are able to read, and feel, the energy given from the students in our classes. Honestly, I think the overall mood of the class depends a lot on the weather. One day, there was a big weather front coming in and the air was thick with humidity. I think the low atmospheric pressure was affecting moods and energy. I was personally not ready to practice yoga that day. So I started out very slowly for a class that is supposed to be high intensity. We eased into the high intensity part just so it wouldn’t be as uncomfortable.

The moon also affects our energy. It is one reason why Ashtanga yoga prescribes “Moon Days”, which occur during full and new moons. You don’t practice those days since its when we can feel the greatest gravitational pull. Mula Bandha can only do so much for us (haha!). Maybe its more psychological, but I definitely feel it on those days.

So last week, I taught a moderate intensity class meant for beginner-intermediate yogis. I felt a little off and didn’t think I was connecting very well with my class. I try my best to be playful and offer easier and harder modifications for many poses. I also play upbeat music that helps energize students. I do all I can to create an atmosphere that helps yogis find their flow. As we went along, I saw a lot of blank stares in their eyes. I heard groans and sensed lethargy as they transitioned into poses. When I offered advanced poses, I saw frustration and many not even attempting the harder variations. I was ready to write that class off as lost.

To my amazement, I got a huge response after the class. Several asked me about other classes I teach, like Rocket Yoga, and asked if they should try them. Others said they like my style and my yoga teaching voice. I heard some go on and on about my music playlist saying that it lifted them up when they were struggling. Others asked me more specifically about getting into a certain pose or how to overcome obstacles. I was so pleasantly surprised.

You can’t always judge a yoga class by the feel during class. I know when I was running a trail ultramarathon or in the midst of a hard CrossFit workout, I looked like death warmed over. But afterward, I was often ecstatic for having accomplished what I just did. I was proud of the hardships and wallowed in bliss. But you couldn’t tell that during the event. Ahimsa applies to yoga teachers too! The quality of non-judgement should be applied at all times. And I’m not looking for praise. But when it comes and we can celebrate together, then everyone is happy.

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Yoga: Pet Peeves

Haha! Pet Peeves? Dislikes? Yeah, probably too strong of words. Well,…er….some things do bother me a lot or are simply unsafe. But I’ll let you decide if they bother you too.

  1. Going too deep, too early. Safely warming the body temperature is needed before going deep.
  2. If you specifically go to an Ashtanga or Iyengar class (e.g.), you are expected to follow the style pointers. But to insist on specifics in a general flow class is unnecessary. Let people feel and just BE!
  3. If I wanted Body Pump, Zumba, or Pilates, I’d go to those classes. There are some movements that make sense. But most don’t follow what yoga is supposed to be.
  4. Extensive alliterations that make no sense to my body. Sometimes we get mystical and cartoonish when we say silly things that are way overdone. “Give in to the breath”, “Allow the left patella to attract to the right patella”, “Sink your liver into your spine and give weight to the kidneys”….Huh???
  5. Unequal timing to both sides of a pose. I know, sometimes we as teachers lose track. Sometimes we even forget the other side. But we need to try to keep things equal.
  6. Loud music in savasana. I actually prefer silence.
  7. Also over-cueing in savasana. Talk beginners into the position and then clam up! Some teachers talk through the entire savasana.

These are just 7 off the top of my head. I’m sure you can find many more.