Diary of a New Yoga Teacher
The journey, challenges, and victories of becoming a yoga teacher
By Carmen Diaz, Yoga Instructor
Fall is here, “Pumpkin Spice” has arrived, and the end of the year is closer than ever! Happy month of October to all of you!
I have found myself very busy this past couple of weeks, between personal/family commitments and my professional life. The one thing that has helped me be stress-free during these busy, busy months is yoga! It is incredible how my body asks for yoga and I know it is the medicine that my body needs.
Let me tell you about my teaching… I’ve been doing well. I feel more confident and many of the fears I told you about in my first article are slowly dissipating. Something that has helped me feel more at ease is the time I devote planning my classes. Allowing myself to prepare a good class that encompasses a peak, counter, and neutralizing poses helps take away stress and makes me feel more confident. Again, practice, practice, practice is the key to success!
I’ve also received a few compliments about my classes and I cannot even begin to tell you how that makes me feel.
I have a funny story about this … one day after one of my classes I walked behind a few of my students and I overheard them saying, “Oh that was such a great class!” It felt so good! And no, they didn’t see me walking behind them, LOL! I couldn’t wait to get home to my husband and tell him all about it. It was heartwarming to hear!
I am also getting a lot of “new to yoga” students, many of them come from lifting weights and have never dedicated the time to stretching. That is a tough combination because flexibility diminishes by lifting weights itself, now imagine on top of that not stretching as part of your fitness routine… you have some stiff students!
I’ve been using a lot of yoga props to help them get into the asana and to increase their flexibility. I also take this as an opportunity to teach my newbies many of the wonderful benefits of yoga. Many of the “weight lifters”, don’t believe in yoga because they don’t know what yoga is about. First of all, they usually think yoga is easy and non-beneficial, but after the first class this mindset changes!
Whenever you have the experience of teaching these kinds of students, you will see them sweating and the evident look of discomfort will begin to show as they try to hold an asana. Don’t worry… it’s all part of the process. Something amazing happens as you prepare them to get to Savasana and closing meditation… a peaceful look arises. However, these rookie yogis might not say anything to you after their first class of yoga, in fact, they may feel a little pissed off at you. However, no need to worry my friends, because what happens next will be so rewarding. They will start coming back to yoga class and they will begin to express how much they are benefiting from it. What a wonderful experience that is! This is what becoming a yoga teacher is all about, sharing this wonderful practice with the world.
I am also in teacher training for psychotherapeutic yoga. It has been a powerful experience to keep learning all the ways where yoga can benefit our mind, body, and soul. I am learning so much pranayama, sequencing, anatomy all targeted to help heal mental illness. The Lifeologie Institute School of Psychotherapeutic Yoga, or LISPY is getting ready to start a new round of teacher training. To get more information, you can go to their website www.wefixbrains.com and look for The LISPY Teacher Training.
Well my dear friends, until next month! A month is a long time, so if you want to say hello or have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be thrilled to hear from you!