Enjoyed last night’s class. It’s a late class and generally not many show up for it, but I had five students. One woman was entirely new to yoga, and that’s usually a pleasant feeling, and it was this time. The evening before there was a young woman whose mother brought her, who was so insecure, just could not relax no matter how I reassured her. We got through it and I think it was okay, but quite a struggle. But last night Era (sp?) was fine, very able, and everyone seemed in a good, enthusiastic place as we worked our way through. I had resolved not to talk about my game plan, which was concentrating on the arms. I like this approach, you don’t feel constrained in any way and just make your way through, with the students’ trust.
Another intention for my teaching last night was to minimize the demo’ing, and instead walk around a lot, using words and the students’ own bodies to demonstrate. I did this even when it seemed like it was going to be difficult, brushing away the urge to return to the mat and just show it. I wanted to encourage, both in them and in me, the feeling that there’s no rush and we’re going to find the pose together. Sometimes while teaching I’ll return to the mat just to find out where I am and how to get to the next phase, but I’d worked on that yesterday afternoon, a lot, I knew my shit, and so that was not a problem. When you walk around you can see more, and help more. I know some students learn best by watching, but this can be worked into the strategy by using a student up front who can demonstrate well enough, which I did at times.
The class is one hour, lovely amount of time to work with, because it feels compressed. Partly because the class is late, I have a general strategy of working hard for the first half hour and then having a long cool-down, including restoratives. The first half zipped along nicely. The arms got their workout for both strength and flexibility… yay. And the restorative phase seemed very right. Since we only have ten bolsters, this was just enough last night to give two to each student, using both of them for the first restorative pose, which was supported Matsyasana or Fish Pose, with calves and ankles supported by a crosswise bolster and the torso by a lengthwise, top of the head to the floor. Then we worked down onto the shoulders, and I worked a little on their shoulder muscles as they relaxed. Afterward Anna said something rather wonderful, that she loves the restorative part, and that last week after the class she had such a lovely, freeing dream, a dream of being able to breathe so freely and she credited the yoga. Her life right now is very hard, working for a stingy awful law firm, sometimes she wakes up and cries, so this was really good to hear.