You know that wild roller coaster ride I took on my teacher training that I mentioned awhile ago? Well, it continued. A few months in and now teaching. I can easily say many discoveries have been made, my agenda has gone crazy and my ability to draw stick figures for lesson plans are still, well, not a natural talent!
So what exactly happens when you return from a teacher training and start to teach?
Your first lesson is nerve wracking, but the second lesson is a killer
It is only natural that your first ever lesson teaching a group may be a bit scary. However, just like ripping a plaster off your arm. You do it quick and painless. It has to be done. Exciting yes, but a little nerve wrecking. But you survive, maybe even with a smile on your face. What you don’t realize is the next day you will wake up to the realization that the first lesson was the easiest part. You now have to face lesson two. This means if you were okay then people will return to your class. That is a scary waiting game that involves a couple cookies, constant refreshing of the mindbody app and fear.
However, with a deep breath. You remember that it doesn’t matter how many are in a class. You come always as if your teaching to save the world. Okay maybe that is a bit dramatic, but you get the drift. You always arrive wanting to give the best lesson possible no matter how many students appear.
Your students are your teachers
What a cliche, but what truth. It will amaze you, how much you learn from students. Especially in pregnancy yoga, where a woman may be in her second or third pregnancy. They have so much experience to share and tips. It is wonderful to be able to learn and incorporate their experiences into teaching. In vinyasa lessons, it is a learning curve of how to adjust lessons to the energy and abilities of the class. What ever you learn in one class, you think about it for the next class.
Drawing Skills not needed
Often you see yoga teachers have their lessons beautifully sketches out with little stick figures. Whilst the first few lessons you may write out your lesson plans and you should as it is good practice. By lesson 10, you realize that your art skills (or lack of) are not needed. Like a magical sixth sense, the lesson plan evolves in your head and you don’t need a sheet of paper next to you. In fact, maybe by lesson 20 you have a few lesson plans in rotation so you don’t have to panic if you have to last minute sub for a lesson. It is nice to have a lesson book and continuously add new sequences that come up in your practice for future lessons. But drawing skills are optional!
Tea is Important
A lesson is a lesson. But often, thanks to the wonderful cups of tea flowing at yoga studios everywhere, lessons are more. It goes off the mat for a group tea after the lesson. In busy studios or big classes, teachers sometimes are so busy thinking about the next class that a class is just a class. However, it is important to make time for students. Your class is not just a class, it is a little community. Maybe somebody has something to share or someone can offer advice to another. Maybe you can’t sit for another 15 minutes, but at least take 5. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a little yogi tea?
Don’t Forget about the Cat
Yoga lessons are at great times for students, but not always great times for those teachers who have a family at home. Evening and weekend classes, whilst so rewarding also can bring on some late nights or long days. So much so that when you come home, the husband is already asleep and the cat is not impressed. It is so important to have clear communication with your significant other and set boundaries for when you will teach. Otherwise a week can go by when you miss weekend brunch, a cozy week night in or simply see a yoga studio more than your own living room. It also means that when you are teaching, you know it is your teaching time and can devote all energy to your class. You have to find balance (and a good brand of cat treats) to make both your family and yourself happy.
You don’t always have to be a teacher
Even with a teaching qualification in your pocket. That doesn’t mean you never attend a class again as a student. You may be surprised when you tell a fellow teacher that you will join their class and they say ‘oh? No other teachers really do that, nice that you do.’ It is great attending other classes. It keeps your form in check and inspires your creativity. Make time to go. Support other teachers. Keep your yoga journey moving and maybe give a high five in the process.
Just enjoy the Path
Whether your teaching for fun or as a new career. Just enjoy wherever one lesson may lead. There are a crazy amount of yoga teachers walking around in their yoga pants and smoothie in hand. However, every teacher has a different style, timetable and personality. In true vinyasa fashion, just go with the flow. Everything will come when it is time. In the meantime, keep breathing and chill out in shavasana.
Relate, Share, Join and Send Positive Vibes Only!