the ups and downs of downward dog.

Here’s the thing. At least, it’s the thing for me. A yoga class that lasts about an hour and fifteen, generally feels like at least 3 hours for the teacher. Not in a bad way. It’s just the energy expenditure that goes into it. So after a day of teaching 2 or 3 classes, I am absolutely exhausted. On top of that, I also used to spend way too much time planning my classes. You know, this particular sequence for the warm up, this pranayama exercise, this reading. W2 to W1 to Parvrita Trikonasana… and on and on and on.

I don’t plan my classes anymore. I made a comment to my husband this morning while gathering my belongings for class and my daughter for school, that it was good that I didn’t plan my classes anymore, otherwise I wouldn’t have time for anything else. Yes, this was an exaggeration. And yes, I do still plan my classes occasionally. When I mentioned this to Niko this morning, and also asked if it was terrible that I didn’t, he made a good point: if I take the time to plan, and then my student base is completely different than the class I originally intended, well, what really is the point? That is the point.

When I was in teacher training, the instructor said this: There is the class you plan to teach, the class you actually teach, and then the class you wish you would have taught. God was she right.

This is something that you learn only by practice. When you’re fresh out of teacher training, you spend countless hours with your pen and paper, your notes, your mat. You work on perfecting your class design. It’s necessary. Eventually, you begin to figure out that even without the plan, everything will be alright.

So when I got to class this morning, intending to at least make some sort of standing practice sequence, in walked 2 new students. The first, with a recently broken wrist, in therapy, and having only practiced yoga by video and not for a number of years. The second (husband of first) had been to yoga classes about a decade ago, and had no admitted experience. He asked if it was necessary that he take his shoes off. :)

So here is where my husband’s point was proven. I had to throw everything out the window. Here was my vinyasa class, minus the downdog, updog, and absolutely everything that puts pressure on the wrists. As well as most of the flow in itself, as I was breaking down most of the poses to allow for complete comprehension. The class turned into a beginner’s foundation. It was fun, and a great lesson for me as a teacher.

My noon class turned out to be equally spontaneous. With only 2 students, and both regulars, it allowed for a nice environment of intimacy. On top of that, we spent the first ten minutes or so chatting and giggling, our own brand of yoga. :) I practiced through most of the class with them, and used my own body to guide our next move. That is the real vinyasa, right? Letting the breath guide the body into its perfect form.

So the day was a great reminder that, once again, everything will be okay. There is no reason to doubt, or panic, if you don’t have the perfect class plan mapped out with extensive detail… Chill. And let the flow begin.

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