1. There are several steps that go into teaching yoga. It's not as simple as saying the names of the poses, as I had hoped going into teacher training last year. As a teacher I have to say the name of the pose, give cues to align your physical body in each pose, and pay attention to see what's happening and missing in the room. I listen for breath, look for focus, create heat and flow. I have to bring in what's missing, all while remembering to say the name of the next pose. Essentially going from Downward Facing Dog to Warrior One, I've had to say six different things that I needed to come up with based on what is actually happening in the room. Not six things I already had preplanned in my mind. This happens for every pose, sometimes more than six, sometimes less and that's just one of the things I'm doing.
2. When I teach yoga, I am also a DJ. I don't use music for my whole class but at the end I play one or two songs. Sometimes my DJ skills are right on point and the songs fit perfectly with the message and class. Sometimes they're not so good...like today. I pressed play on a song and it started the playing the end of the song not the beginning. I had to skillfully turn down the music and fast rewind the song and then turn up the music without missing a beat so that Savasana wasn't disrupted.
3. My yoga teaching also includes the mild skill of a masseuse and chiropractor. I will occasionally give you a shoulder press down or foot rub that feels a lot like a 2 second massage. I may even assist your Supine Twist and accidentally crack your back, if you are lucky.
4. The most important thing I do while teaching yoga is to constantly bring myself back to the present moment - constantly remind myself to be light and joy - constantly remind myself that I'm good enough - constantly remind myself that I am here to make my students great, it's about them it's not about me - constantly remind myself to add more water to my grounded earthiness - constantly remind myself to smile - constantly remind myself to laugh - constantly remind myself that I am brave and playful.
So in between telling you to move from Downward Facing Dog to Warrior One not only do I remember to queue your pose, I've also reminded myself who I am and who I want to be for you. Not to mention I checked the time on my watch to make sure we weren't running out of it too quickly. It is by far the best job I have ever had!!
xo | cordelia