Teaching begins!

So much going on this week. So far I’ve been getting away with just attending class and taking notes, but today I finally started a practice of studying in the evening. I really love this summer intensive format — I feel like I get so much out of each day and I get to really just immerse myself in my studies. I’ve been reviewing my notes, making flash cards, and preparing for tomorrow. It’s fun (but exhausting) being a student again. I can hardly find time to write, but I feel like it’s worthwhile getting these thoughts down while I’m going through the experience. I also have SO much I want to read, and learn! It’s like the more I learn, the more I want to know.

In the last two days we’ve covered:

  • Our first times learning about and practice teaching!
  • Chapter 1 of Patañjali (“Pa-TAWN-jah-lee”)’s Yoga Sutras
  • Asana modifications
  • Anatomy of the hip and pelvis
  • Standing forward bends
  • Sequencing

Here are the forward bends we explored today. It’s really cool getting into all the little details of a pose and seeing the way it works in different bodies. We focused especially today on how to modify these poses to accommodate different levels of mobility or to help someone get more deeply into a pose. Also loving learning the names of these poses in Sanskrit and breaking down the words to see what they have in common with other words.

All images except the first are from Pocketyoga.

Prasarita Padottanasana: wide leg (“spread leg”) forward bend
(image credit: Yoganonymous)

Yoga Pose: Standing Forward Bend (Uttānāsana)

Uttānāsana: forward fold (translates as “intense stretch”)

Yoga Pose: Pyramid (Pārśvottānāsana)

Pārśvottānāsana: pyramid (translates as “side intense stretch”)

I really loved the chance to talk about and practice teaching each other! (Are you surprised? I doubt it.) I felt like the instruction came really naturally to me and I wished I had longer to do it! I felt like I was drawing on so much of what I’ve heard and absorbed from other yoga teachers over the years as far as common phrases, voice modulation, etc. I’m also excited to think about designing a practice and making it my own (with a theme, music, poetry, etc). Our first homework, due in about a week and a half, is to design our own lesson plans for an intro class (total yoga newbie) and a basics class (level 1/beginner). Danny has agreed to let me try out teaching the intro one to him once I’ve gotten it figured out. I was also thinking about designing special yoga classes for certain populations — e.g., older adults, people who sit at desks all day, dentists, etc. So so exciting.

I’ve started thinking about what I might want to do with my newfound knowledge once I’ve finished teacher training. One possibility is incorporating some breathing/stretching into my regular psychology classes. I feel like this could be great for my students in so many ways — I’ll explain more deeply what I think this could look like in a later post. I could also design and teach a new “psychology of yoga” class which would try to explain some basic principles of yoga through a psychological perspective (not totally sure what this would look like yet, but I’m thinking it would be mostly positive psych with probably some social psych thrown in). I also think I would enjoy offering free community yoga classes if I could find the space — I feel like it would be really rewarding to be able to give back to the community and serve various populations in this way. I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to create a yoga space at home, too, where I could teach two or three students at a time (probably friends/family). The basement could work, once the dogs aren’t living there. I could also do it upstairs in our bedroom if we made a change to the flooring. Could even hold outdoor classes in the backyard when it’s nice out. Exciting possibilities…


One Reply to “Teaching begins!”

  1. This is so exciting Tabitha! I knew this was a great life choice for you. I hope you teach Danny much of what you learn. It would be good for him to have his own yoga practice.

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