Saturday’s teacher training class also included a round of teaching practice. We split into two groups of six, and round-robin-taught a class to one another. In my group, Tony started with child’s pose and rabbit pose, then I did side stretches, then Joanna half sun salutes, and so on. Each of the six of us got to teach twice.
This was an interesting exercise in a few ways. I kept noticing how as a group we weren’t really structuring a “yoga class” the way we’d actually teach one. Each person, when put on the spot, made interesting choices about which pose to teach next. We did balance poses twice, and sun salutations twice, and skipped warriors until I decided that was what I wanted to teach on my second round – they seemed too important to leave out. Even then, it was tricky trying to figure out how to get into the warrior pose, as each person brought the group up to standing when she finished her part. I ended up making everyone do another sun salutation/vinyasa, because that seems like a more natural way to get into the wide-legged stance for warrior than to just step a leg back (even though stepping a leg back was the way my old teacher Gene taught it – I don’t know, it would have been fine to do it that way, but I didn’t realize it until after half the group was in plank already). I could have just had everyone do a half sun salute and then step one leg back, but I wasn’t thinking and made them go through plank, up dog, and down dog before stepping one foot forward to get to warrior 1. I talked the group through warrior 1, warrior 2, and radiant warrior on each side before bringing them back to standing.
I was pretty pleased with how I did in this exercise, but I think it was more interesting to watch my classmates. This was what really inspired my post on voice the other day: listening to everyone else and hearing each person trying to establish his or her own voice as a teacher. Each person had strengths and weaknesses. Some people repeated the same things over and over; some people didn’t say enough to guide a beginner into a pose, and others talked too much. I’m sure I had similar faults. It’ll be just as interesting to observe my classmates growing as yoga teachers as it will be to see it happen in myself.