Practice creates confidence. Confidence empowers you ~ Simone Biles
Yoga classes take a lot of time to prepare/set up for! Today was my 2nd yoga class practicum. I got to the yoga ‘studio’ space at 11am to set up all the mats, blocks, bolsters, blankets for each person for my 11:30 class. I set out 6 mats – and this time I had enough to double up all the mats after one person last week complained that the hard wood floor and the single thin mat wasn’t comfortable for her (because there is nothing to her!) and a chip foam block, regular block, bolster and blanket at each mat). It took a lot of going back and forth to the room nearby where all the yoga gear is temporarily stored until storage shelving gets installed in the room. By the time I was done it was about 20 minutes past 11, giving me just a few minutes to settle down and relax and breath before class started.
At 11:25 no one had shown up and I was starting to wonder if anyone would show up. Then people did. There was only 3 people, as it turned to 11:30 – but then the last 2 people I was expecting showed up magically right at the last minute (I had just closed the door to the room and walked back to my mat and turned around and the final student was suddenly there!). Class started a minute late due to that.
This time around I wasn’t really nervous at all. Maybe the tiniest miniscule amount in the first 15-30 seconds but then that all went away. I recapped a bit about what we did last week – and again reminded everyone to listen to their own bodies and come into child’s pose (or tadasana if standing, or shavasana) if they needed a break or are not comfortable, and it was nice how we continued with the chest and belly breath from last week (something familiar for those who were there last week) and then moved into full yogic breath this week.
Then we went into warm ups and then the practice. This time, after last weeks feedback of not observing (even though I was), I made sure to go around and assist and correct (hands off!) poses – telling someone to move their knee over their toes in warrior 2 and someone else to take a wider stance in warrior 2, and showing someone how to correct their happy baby pose – showing them how to grab their feet and draw their knees down because they weren’t really doing it right.
When it came to the supine poses, I offered bolsters during the supine twist when some people couldn’t get their knees comfortably to the ground, or in between their legs if they were splaying open. I got good feedback from people who were having issues with their backs, that their back felt so much better after class! I offered to give them blankets for shavasana but no one wanted any. I really liked going around and assisting people with props one on one, and also I had to re-demo/walk someone through downward facing dog again because their upper back was rounding – they were more arched than flat back.
I ended up going a bit too fast through the class sequence this time (but last time I was right on!), so I ended up adding another supine pose after the last pose (Happy Baby) – which I refered to as a ‘bonus pose’! because otherwise I would have had a couple minutes at the end (maybe about 1 or 2) – so I added in a Supta Baddha Konasana since they were already on their backs, offering props (bolsters/blocks) to place under their knees/legs to help support them). Some people weren’t sure about putting blocks/bolsters under their knees/thighs but I offered it and said give it a try and they really liked it and noticed the difference with the support. And then moved into shavasana for a full 5 minutes (because we had the extra minute), and then the So Hum meditation for 5 minutes. And then finished with my quote that I am ending all my classes with (a different quote each week).
I felt a lot more confident and less nervous about today’s class after last weeks. The feedback I got was generally positive (good cues, nice offering suggestions and support, soothing voice, great for their backs) , though someone mentioned about transitioning through poses would be improved/worked on, which is a valid comment. But everyone enjoyed it. The person that gave me the ‘negative’ feedback last week (on observation) rated me excellent this time and said on my evaluation: ‘instructor was confident. She pointed out when poses were not correct so I don’t inure myself by doing it wrongly’. Two people were unable to make it (which was kind of good because we may not have had enough mats! I really though my workplace had got more yoga mats than they have – mind you I did double up 5 mats today, so we do have 10 mats (and I brought my own from home, as did someone else). I think I might bring some extra mats from home for next week.
One student came up to me at the end of class asking for suggestions on what to do for her hips where she gets tight on the sides, so I suggested reverse pigeon (which we had done last week), and siddhasana and I said revolved head to knee which we did today (which she really enjoyed), and bound angle and happy baby (which we also did today) and cow face pose.
Overall it was a good class (except for the timing issue! – next time I will put stuff on my phone to assist with my timing) – but again that wasn’t really an ‘issue’ and allowed for my special ‘bonus pose’! which is what I’ll be calling any extra poses from now on!
Oh and the other issue (I found) was the room was a bit chilly but that’s just the air flow/venting system in the room, but most people were wearing long sleeved tops anyway, and no one needed a blanket when I offered blankets for shavasana. It was just me I guess! I should get a shawl.
It took another 15-20 minutes to put all the equipment away back in the room down the hall (and that was with help from another student!). Overall it took probably 40-45 minutes to set up and then clear up the space. And that was only for 5 people!
This practicum is definitely a learning experience – even when things go smoothly you learn a lot – things you like doing, things you don’t – cues you like and that work, cues that might not make sense when you try to explain it.
The next day after my second class, one of my students contacted me to ask about what the meditation we did yesterday – So Hum and what it meant (even though I explained what So Hum meant at the time!) but I was happy to repeat myself. And then she also wanted more information about the difference of the chin and gyan mudras – upwards and downwards – even though I also explained what it meant when having your hands up versus down in the class the day before! But I was happy to have people curious/interested enough to ask questions.
And 2 of the students contacted me the day after class to let me know how great their backs felt after yesterday’s class (they both have back issues) so that was great to hear. And one of them said they tried some of the poses before bed last night and thought it helped them get to sleep, but they later woke up in the middle of the night thinking about work. So I suggested a body scan meditation (or also natural breath or a mantra meditation like so hum), while they were lying awake in bed might help and they were happy for th suggestion so their awareness would be removed from worrying about work for the time being.
It is such a great feeling to be able to offer suggestions to people of things they can try (meditation, pranayama, asana) that can help people feel better in their bodies! One of the students (who asked about the mudras and so hum) said she felt so relaxed yet energized going home after work after yesterday’s class.
When I got home tonight I did day 7 of Sharon Salzberg’s 28 day meditation challenge.