Just for fun I thought I’d publish a self-eval of a class I taught this morning, the pluses and minuses, the kind of stuff you do in your head afterward.
I realize that a teacher’s experience of the class is necessarily limited, by the ego if nothing else, but also the fact that it’s just one perspective. What works for the teacher may not for the student, and vice versa. Or there may be harmony! I would love to hear comments from anyone who attended, and comments on these sorts of experiences are always welcome here.
Assessment of today’s teaching.
Gentle Yoga, Z&Y, 9 am Sunday.
Good crowd, about 14 — lots of regulars and some new people who seemed very positive.
Used my voice well despite being obviously sick. Dynamics, dynamics, dynamics!
This class always sets up at the wall; for the first time I set up in the middle and I thought it worked. I was able to be seen by everybody (didn’t want to walk around much due to illness).
Felt like I established myself right from the start, owned the atmosphere. Go Ivan.
Satyajit indicated before class that he like doing any partnering, so I dropped my partnering idea, which was fine.
I tried out the idea of dividing the class into levels, and this came in handy.
Thought the music sequence was fine — nothing annoyed me or seemed out of synch.
Liked the sequence. Kept to the floor for the first 40 minutes but felt it was well-paced.
Last week Rita said afterward she hadn’t liked it when I just called the instructions without joining in, particularly for the suryanamaskar (and last week I was deliberately working on not demo’ing), so this week I did the opposite. It made it easier, of course, and in my condition I wanted easy. However Rita wasn’t there, although her husband was.
Taught ujjayi breath ala Max Strom (acknowledging him): open mouth Level 1, through the nose L2. Seemed to work all right, although I didn’t HEAR much from them. I should’ve pointed this out: breathe people! Anyway the sun salutaton seemed good. I think I got a good thing going with my gentling of the salutation and have gotten good feedback on it. In fact it is possible I am offering the rockingest Gentle Suryanamaskar Variation on the planet. Calm down, I’m just sayin’ it’s possible.
The anatomical theme was THE SPINE. I’d never done or seen this before and I wonder why — it makes so much sense! And I returned to it again and again, always a good thing.
My patter felt authentic — not much talking just to talk, if any.
Integrated announcements for the studio & myself (plugging blog). I hate self-promotion! But I did it. After all it’s informational, yeah?
Stuff using the wall worked — puppy dog, and a backbend with knuckles to the wall and then namaste hands.
Really liked the very last sequence — happy baby w. rocking, bringing the knees in and circling, supported bridge w. block on second mode for leg raises, cut down to first mode to raise both legs, circle legs, then dynamic hip lifts into Bridge, then Savasana. Seemed smooth.
Introduced myself to the new couple afterward – Michael and Joanne (-nna?) – nice people. I felt like she brought him there (they said he was new, she wasn’t), but he dug it.
Two others came up afterward: Laura, a woman in town with FEMA for the floods, very cool.
And Josephine consulting on the problem with her shoulder and tingle in arms after bridge – probably pinched nerve(s), but I don’t diagnose, just gave her advice.
Shouldn’t have been there at all! These days I keep thinking I’ll be well, then wait too long to try to cancel, and then Z&Y can’t find a sub in time. My own fault. I’ve canceled tomorrow’s class already.
Forgot Karen’s name – damn.
I had everyone take three blocks at the outset. Now last night, when I was rehearsing, this seemed like a good idea. The studio doesn’t use blankets anymore, so I’m experimenting with other means. But we ran out of blocks (first time for everything), and then the third one really wasn’t essential. I ended up using the it for only one pose, so it was inane and superfluous in retrospect.
During the sun sal I think I said one exhale when I meant inhale (if you’re calling out every single one, as I do in sun sals, you have to really concentrate!)…. but actually I wasn’t sure, so I didn’t correct or apologize (which is good). Anyway, not the worst crime ever.
My biggest disappointment was I created this new seq last night — going from modified parighasana (gate pose),with one knee on a block and the stretched leg bent, to modified vasisthasana, with one top leg forward, to get some push into the arms. The problem was that last night I got excited about this, and I think it’s mad great, but I got distracted (last night) and didn’t fully rehearse it. I hadn’t really walked through going to the other side, and so I couldn’t walk them through it. My mind just balked. I just showed them the result. It was too complicated altogether and I’m afraid a few people got lost. But sometimes you just have to move on!
I don’t think I was all there last night when I was rehearsing. I blame germs! (Excuses, excuses.) Anyway, I’m going to use this again, that’s for sure. But I’m not sure about placing the knee on the block…. hmmm, have to think about that.
Modified (baby) Kurmanasana didn’t really work so well with some of the tight hamstrings in this group.
I also had this new idea of sounding off two notes of Aum and then telling them to join in on the second note, so we’d be on the same sonic page.
But I forgot to preface my demo as a demo, so some of them joined in on that. D’oh! The aum was pretty nice, though!