Teaching for Realsies

Well, I did it.  I finally worked up the courage to talk to the owners of Indigo about letting me teach.  We settled on a Monday night class at 6:30PM and a Wednesday morning class at 5:30AM.  Yes, I typed that correctly, 5:30AM.  I want to teach at that time because that is the time that I want someone to teach me!  The only 5:30AM classes at Indigo are at the hot studio, and I’m still a little suspicious and distrustful of my ability to maintain 100% consciousness at the hot studio. So I wanted to give other early risers like me the option of non-hot yoga before work.

I’ve only taught one class so far.  I had 3 students – a very intimidating audience made up of my husband, my YTT friend Angela, and my friend from work, Beth.  The class went well overall.  I started it off with some seated meditation and some gentle twists.  I wanted to give people a chance to wake up a bit before doing anything too vigorous.  The rest of the class was made up of the usual suspects – sun salutations, wide legged folds, lunges, back bends, etc.  I didn’t really have a “theme” for this class; I just tried to find asanas that are good for waking up the body.  But I found that I missed having a story to tell about the class. It adds a nice bit of cohesiveness and direction.

Initially I am planning on doing a little experimentation to see what works – both for people who come and for myself.  Right now I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the possibilities and options – should I focus on a certain body part?  a certain “type” (soulful yoga)?  breath work?  athletic?  calming?  I know it’s important to build your “brand,” so that people who come to your class know what they are getting themselves into.  But I’m afraid that if I settle into my “thing” too soon, I will end up doing the same kind of class over and over again.  Maybe my thing can be experimental yoga – people can come to my classes to learn a little something new each week.  That would encourage me to keep reading and learning about yoga too.

We will see how it goes.  My sequence for next week was stolen directly out of our Yoga Sequencing book.  But I figured that’s legit because the writer was putting it out there as an example.  I figured I would try teaching someone else’s sequence and compare that to how the students and I feel when I teach one I develop completely myself.

The class I taught on Wednesday morning was an Hlo original.  The people who came (who are all friends and loved-ones, mind you), said it was good.    I felt a little choked at first – the words just didn’t want to flow out of me.  Was I nervous even though I had such a kind audience??  It had been a couple of weeks since I had taught, and I’m hoping that was the cause of my nervousness.  Hopefully teaching every 3 days or so will help me improve exponentially.

If you are a yoga teacher, please give me some advice on how you come up with class ideas and how you end up finding the voice and style that works for you!

2 thoughts on “Teaching for Realsies

  1. Angela

    Heather, I didn’t notice that you “choked” at first at all. You were great! I love the freshness and the new ideas and research you do for each class. I have focused more on getting used to teaching from what I know best but I can see that that will get boring for me pretty quickly. After you’ve taught a few more classes you’ll start to feel more comfortable asking people what they might want to work on and that keeps it REAL fresh as your brain has to come up with ways to incorporate whatever they come up with. I think we have some time to play around with style and voice and content before landing on a “branding”, your tribe will find you 🙂

    1. hlofromcello

      Thank you, Angela!! I’ve found that I totally love my Wednesday AM classes. I get to practice my sequence on Monday night, so I’m less tied to my notes come Wednesday. The less I look at them, and the more I look at the students, the happier all of us are. Suzanne on Wednesday told me she is going to take my notes away if I use the again! Eeeeeeek!


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