Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 41: How You Teach is a Reflection of Your Practice

Last night, Joel (the older teacher/Hare Krishna dude) and Christian (a teacher/director from Vancouver, B.C. , not to be confused with Christian, my roommate and friend), said a couple of things that were worth pondering regarding dialogue.

First, let me just say in my opinion, and that of many others here...learning the dialogue is hard. You wouldn't think so, hearing it twice a day for that last 40 days, along with having done this yoga nearly daily for the past 6 months. But, having to know it in perfect order, verbatim, and deliver it with appropriate energy, voice inflection/variance, volume, body language...shall I go on? Many of us are struggling with really relaxing and just 'bringing it' and letting go of our fears.

So, last night, Joel said: "Beat yourself up, face all your demons - learn the dialogue and all these things will go away once you go home and really own this dialogue...practice practice practice! Stop translating it and just speak it." He added, and this bears more significant pondering for me anyhow, "How you teach is a reflection of your practice." Yikes. Now that scared the (yoga) pants off me. Emmy had said when she was here, "If you really want to know someone, take them to a Bikram class. By the end of Half Moon, you will know all you need to about them." These two things taken together make me wonder what one might think upon observing my practice.

I know/feel/believe I have a strong practice. I mean, duh, I am at teacher training, I'm engaged, I love love love this yoga, I work hard, try the right way as best as I can...but then the doubt creeps in. I don't have the classic "skinny yoga body," my postures are not candidates, in most cases, for the brochure (er, perhaps my savasana? maybe half-tortoise? ;) There's just this nugget of insecurity that leaves me asking, "Who do you think you are? Do you really think you have the right to teach this yoga?" Just to clarify, I'm not a puddle of insecurity - I said nugget people - but it creeps in, and I think it shows up in my practice, in my dialogue and likely countless other places in my life outside of yoga. So, now the work begins on getting over the hump and just deciding, believing that I am worthy of doing this - even though I know it in my head, I struggle to really internalize it in my heart.

Pix: Class #62 & #63; Reuben's vein-popping Locust; Group #14 pile-up! Above, Aurelie's full locust.


Anonymous said...

Your post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?" (Nelson Mandela)

Of course you will have moments as a teacher in which you ask yourself, "Who am I to teach this amazing, life-changing yoga? Who granted me that power?" In the end, I think you'll always find the same answer: YOU. Your brilliant, gorgeous talented, and fabulous self.

And, really, what could be better?!


Lauren said...

Your posts and your photos with your group indicate that you are lifting those that are beside you up and up like a 747. I smile when I think of you.

bikramyogachick said...

Jenn- Michelle from Vegas- Just the fact that you are consciously asking yourself these questions about teaching shows how genuine of a person you are (and i don't even know you).
If I ever visit Seattle, I'll be heading right up to your class.

Steph said...

Hi Jenn

Like, Michelle, I will DEF be looking up your class if I am ever in Seattle!

I just love, love, love your blog, and appreciate your honesty and sense of humour, and wish I was there to meet you. You will make a fab teacher that I'm sure many will feel drawn too.

Stay bendy!
Steph from New Zealand.