Back by popular demand....I couldn't live without you....I'm here to report on my first formal teaching experience. After doing some "pop-up teaching" here and there in the city for the past two weeks (which went really well as far as getting my feet wet and my confidence up), today I let the ball roll and surpassed everyone's expectations, even my own. BTW, pop-up teaching means I would take a friend's class and they would let me jump up and teach a pose or two.
I practiced all day on anyone who was around, those would let me use their bodies. We sat by the pool in the Hamptons sun, at my fabulous new house (rental) and ran dialogue and postures until we were blue in the face. Then I channeled my energy to face the toughest challenge of all, driving on 27 during the holiday weekend to get to the studio on time. That and making a quick stop at Kmart for all the house essentials; not sure which was more stressful actually. Once I got my digital, sweat-proof watch, I was on my way.
How many more times can I rehearse spine twisting pose? How many more hours can I sit at the Golden Pear hoping that no one sees or hears me reciting dialogue by myself. I've resorted to calling it the "Golden Prayer" because I look like a Hasidic Jew davening in the corner.
Ok 3:59pm, time to journey across the street and get the party started! At this point, it was do or die. The owner came right at 4:00 and we went through every last detail on how the studio functions. What's amazing is all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes at yoga studios. All the blood, sweat and tears that you don't see, that is part of being a studio owner. Hats off to all you owners out there. I respect and commend you for opening your doors to us every day.
At 4:33, my class was full with eleven students and the owner, but I love the number 11 so we'll call it that. The humidity and temperature were ideal today and, best of all, no beginners. No offense to all my novices out there, but beginners take extra time and practice to deal with when teaching. So with the stars aligned I began my dialogue and with the exception of one really strange, tongue twisted verse of Pranayama deep breathing, I can't remember a time in class where I felt off, out of control, forgetful - all the things I feared did not happen. Quite the contrary, I received 11 thank you's and a couple students in particular thanked me for my corrections. Wow! Could their be a better compliment? Just don't tell Bikram I gave (verbal) corrections on my first day..
So here's the feedback from the owner....I need a stronger set-up for Spine Twisting (last pose) and I over-compensated for a studio-specific set-up that the owner had me make in the beginning of Standing Head to Knee. But aside from that, my timing was great. At one point, I thought I was going too fast, but in the end, I finished with exactly 2 minutes to spare for Savassana. To be honest, I never practiced the entire class in one shot and I never practiced my timing. Perhaps it was the mock class I took earlier in the week (taught by a fellow yogi from training) that went 20 minutes over...nothing inspires timeliness more than being on the receiving end of running a class over. Not fun, especially in the kind of humidity us east coasters practice in.
Next class - July 4th. 7:45am Hamptons Hot Yoga, Bridgehampton. I can't wait to have you in my class.