Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Doshas, My 1st Private Client, & Practice Teaching

This may seem like a weird combination of things to put together in an entry, but they're all related and I feel like I can't talk about one of the experiences without the other. It was kind of a big weekend.

I was excited to learn about Ayurveda this weekend, and was somewhat disappointed with the session when it actually came to be. It's probably just my own personal -ness getting in the way, but I have a real issue with labels as they may be. Using only 25 words to describe everything just doesn't sit well with me, and the connections that she was making for a lot of the things just didn't make sense.

I wouldn't describe water as oily unless it is, in fact, oily. Sorry, just not working for me. I understand a lot of the concepts though, like the eating times and sleeping times and things people should and shouldn't avoid. I get it, but I still don't completely buy into it. I was also taken aback when my test read Kapha but she told me she thought I was Pitta. I don't know what to say about it besides that's what the test said. Maybe I took it wrong? Although looking back at it now I was 10 Kapha 7 Pitta 6 Vata so maybe that' s a close enough order that I'm all 3? I'm going to try taking a few more tests and see what the results are. Maybe that will give me some answers.

So that was the first thing this weekend where my self kind of felt called in to question. Who am I? Like, shouldn't I know that answer better than some stranger I just met? Maybe not?

Then we did our private lessons on Saturday and I was really excited with how it went. Ashley felt "light as air" afterwards, she said I was a natural teacher and she enjoyed the session. I was very pleased. I even volunteered to teach during training the next day because I was feeling pretty confident about my abilities.

Then the next day came, I taught, and I completely screwed up my entire mandala (which I've fixed! and will post about later), I talk too quietly, I don't demand the attention of my class....I felt like I did ok until it was time for the constructive criticism portion.

Here's where I have a confession to make: I really don't feel like myself at teacher training. Granted, I am a naturally introverted personality. There's a quote that I like that I can't exactly remember word for word right now, but it speaks about holding your tongue so that when you do speak people take notice because they know what you have to say is important. That's how I feel. I'm not a naturally outgoing person, but it's not because I'm shy. I'm not afraid to speak, I just don't find it necessary in a lot of situations. I find myself reading each situation when I arrive to it, and for some reason when I arrived at teacher training I didn't feel comfortable enough to be myself....whatever that means.

I surround myself with strong personalities often, so it's not that I was intimidated. It's just that I really didn't feel like I had much in common or much to say to almost anyone at training, and I read that immediately. I feel comfortable to do my yoga with them, but I'm not comfortable saying what's on my mind because I don't think it translates to most of them. We're just in very different places in our lives, and probably will continue to be and the couple of times I have spoken to the majority of people in training, I'm often answered with blank stares and not a lot of response otherwise. That's how I felt when we were being given feedback about our teaching. Everyone had a lot to say to everyone else, but when it became my turn, Gioconda was the only one who had anything to say to me.

It's just a strange feeling, because I surround myself with people who are like me, who understand what I'm saying and don't look at me like I'm crazy whenever I open my mouth. So I've opted to stay quieter during this entire training process, but now I fear that I've made myself out to be timid and shy when that's not really the case. I have confidence that I will make a good teacher, but I do not feel 100% confident teaching at my own teacher training.

That being said, I think the feedback was very helpful because as I've been pondering over it and turning it over in my mind the last few days, I came upon a way to frame it that suits me and is positive. I've always liked the quote, yoga is like therapy without having to talk about it. I graduated with a psychology degree, and the way in which people work has always been fascinating to me. I'm all about having close relationships with people; knowing them intimately because superficial relationships just feel like a waste of my time.

Well, when it comes to yoga, maybe what I'm most suited for is private clients. I felt so much more comfortable teaching Ashley by herself than I did teaching to a room full of people. And what I really want to be able to do is make an individualized lesson plan for each person I teach so I can help them the best by catering to exactly what their needs are. So, this isn't to say that I don't want to teach some public classes too, as that's probably the way to get the word out about myself as a teacher, but probably what my focus is meant to be is private clients. I don't have to talk a lot because I don't need to, but I can get to know people better and I enjoy sequencing classes that suit an individual personality, rather than trying to cater to 20 different people all in the same class.

I was excited when I came to this realization. In my mind there's a very big difference between growth and changing who you are, and it feels like a very fine line to me sometimes. I want to become a better version of myself, not become a better teacher for the sake of teaching yoga, but not being an authentic teacher while doing it. Teacher training has been such an emotional roller coaster, and I've learned so much these last couple of months I can hardly even believe where I am in my life right now but I'm so so THANKFUL for it. Must just be that time of year. xx

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