What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals ~ Henry David Thoreau
Last night I had a weird yoga dream. Probably because I was teaching a yoga ‘class’ today to one of my students/coworkers, as a run through for this weekends assignment.
I dreamt I was in a large kind of cabin/lodge type thing, and there was a male yoga teacher and for some reason I was taking over from him. And so he left the room, and I was trying to instruct a large group of people, and having to step around junk (like a bicycle!) to demonstrate poses. And then people in my class were stopping and chatting and horsing around and generally not paying attention to me while I was trying to teach, and I remember saying to one girl (who is actually a fellow student in my Yoga Teacher Training program in real life!) that if she didn’t stop, she’d have to leave the class ( and I remember being proud of myself for standing up and saying that!).
I woke up from that dream this morning (15 minutes before my alarm went off!) and for some reason got up and went into a child’s pose for a few breaths before getting out of bed! (which was kind of weird, as I never do that! but it was nice).
My yoga practice today was teaching a student, so I could run through what I thought I’d be submitting as my final class assignment…turns out I have to revise one of my 4 week series classes anyway – so the class I taught was moot! (though it was still great to get a 5th ‘bonus’ teaching class in – so …bonus! 🙂 ). When I was teaching cobra pose, I reminded them that they should listen to their bodies and if anything feels uncomfortable at any point, if they feel any pain or pinching to come out of the pose and into a restorative pose like child’s pose. As soon as I re-affirmed that for the student (though I had mentioned it at the beginning of class as well – to listen to their own bodies and do what feels right for them), the student went ‘oh!’ and immediately went back into child’s pose, and so I said ‘that’s good, and that’s where we’re going to be going next anyway,’ so then I moved onto child’s pose, as per what the student was needing in their own body. It was after the class that the student explained they can’t lift their head up much in cobra pose (and that they also have difficulty with balancing cat) because they experience nausea and dizziness for some reason doing those poses (and then asked if there was anything they could do for that – and I said, just to do what they were doing – modify and listen to their body – for example in balancing cat, they left their toes of the extended leg close to the ground, not lifting it up high. They also said that they really appreciated the reminder to ‘breathe’ in Trikonasana. I had said, when I noticed them focusing more on trying to get the alignment right in the pose that they weren’t really breathing. So I had given them the reminder to continue to breathe as I walked them through how to get into the pose, and they liked that because they said they sometimes stop breathing when they’re concentrating on learning a new pose and getting everything right. So that was a nice validation as well! They appreciated me correcting their alignment of their foot in triangle pose (front wasn’t in line with arch of back foot).
The class I did was, as I said yesterday, a routine i found on my phone that sounded pretty good (and it turns out it’s pretty similar to my 3rd class of my four week series! (which I have edited and changed around a bit to make it flow – which is what i’m going to be doing as my final exam now).
Here’s the class I taught today:
Standing half moon
Standing spinal twist
Triangle to standing forward fold
Triangle to standing forward fold (on the other side)
Tadasana to plank to Downward facing dog
Cobra to Child’s pose
Thunderbolt to Head to Knee pose
Head to knee pose other side
Marichiasana twist 1 (both sides)- with a counter twist
Seated Forward fold
2 knee supine twist (aka Revolved Belly)
I ended the class (after shavasana and a lovingkindness meditation, where I asked my student to choose one of these phrases: May I be filled with loving kindness, May I be Well, May I be Peaceful and at Ease, May I be Happy) or to choose their own positive phrase like: I am confident, I am happy, I am strong, I am content etc.) with a quote by Henry David Thoreau (author of Walden – aka Walden’s Pond). The quote was: What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.
That’s the quote I’m going to use to end my final exam class. I love Thoreau’s inspirational quotes! (which is why I put one at the top of this post). and my student asked again who it was who said the quote, so they obviously liked it as well!
Even though it wasn’t an official class of my 4 week series, I asked my student for some constructive feedback on the class and they said in an email later how they liked how I advised alternatives to the stretches, and they liked the shavasana and the meditation. They really liked how I gave suggestions about what to think about in the meditation as: “that really takes you into the zone and forces you to think positive thoughts and it gets other stuff out of your head.” And they also liked the reminder to breathe because “Sometimes when you are in a new pose you concentrate so much on your balance or just doing the pose correctly and you end up holding your breathe. Yet if you breathe it relaxes you.” And they liked that i corrected and checked their alignment in Triangle pose.
When I got home from work today, my meditation practice today was a 9 minute one focusing on positive emotions, from Sharon Salzberg – day 16 of her 28 day mindfulness meditation challenge (which has apparently been going for 7 years!).
I still have to do my pranayama practice because even though we did Nadi Shodan and Ujjayi in class today, I didn’t really do them, just demonstrated and then observed my student.