so much zen

Jul 6th

All the research I did on Friday helped me shape my class for Monday evening. I didn’t use the circuit model, but the entire format of the class was dramatically different from any other class I’ve done or taken. My ultimate goal was to teach a class that was as close to a “normal” yoga class as I could teach but incorporate poses that could be held for longer lengths of time.

Here was the basic format of the class:

  • Easy seated, eyes closed
  • Revolved easy seat (repeated as many times as comfortable)
  • Butterfly [Cobbler’s]
  • Child’s pose
  • Frog or tadpole
  • Child’s pose
  • Kneeling Sun Salutations
  • Sphinx
  • Baby Dragon [low lunge with variations] (down dog between each side)
  • Child’s pose
  • Pigeon (down dog between each side)
  • Seated wide leg forward bend over a yoga ball
  • Bridge to wheel over a yoga ball
  • “Shoelace” [stacked knees] with wrist & shoulder stretches on each side
  • Happy baby
  • Reclining bound angle
  • Reclining twists
  • Savasana
 The kneeling sun salutations were new to all of us so it took several times to establish a real “flow”. Once we all had it down, though, it was a good way to create just enough heat to move into the rest of the poses for the evening. We held every pose for several breaths. I verbally cued as much as I could without interrupting the flow with coughing, and even managed to get into a few poses myself. As many times as I encouraged the class to breathe into their points of tension, it was hard not to be able to incorporate my own breath. Granted, teaching yoga restricts one from really using the breath to go through the asanas because of all the verbal cuing.

 

At the same time, there are moments in a class when the yoga teacher can demonstrate the yogic breath. I can’t. And I guess that’s what was the most discouraging part of the practice.  I was able to cough, though, which made it different from Friday’s practice. Friday, I held in my cough reflex the entire time. The only way I could do that was to use the other muscles I use for breathing–thankfully, my vocal training has taught me how to control my intercostals. Unfortunately, using my intercostals induces a cough reflex, so I have to breathe abdominally (and definitely not deeply).

 

The class was extremely receptive of the “new” format and was definitely grateful for a chance to really sink into their stretches. When the practice was finished, everyone thanked me for the change of pace. I do think I might try doing another restorative session Friday night since it was so well received and the ones who missed it expressed interest in trying it out.

 

Clearly the universe wants me to take a step back. I’m going with it.

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