Thursday, June 12, 2008

My First Class!!!

I did it!

I taught me a Bikram Yoga Class and nobody got hurt. At least I don't think anyone got hurt, though Jill is complaining of new ankle pain, I don't think it was my fault :)

Today was my first class - it was a "mock" class in that no one paid for it. Saiko set it up (she set up the one for Christian this past Tuesday in the same way) by inviting all the students on her mailing list as well as all of her teacher friends to attend. I had 12 people in all - 3 of my personal friends (Jill, Mikey & Conrad) and the rest, except for 3, were teachers. Christian was there, of course, and Roxanne, who attended training with us in Acapulco.

What can I say? Most report their first class was a blur - true in this case, to some degree. What I found most challenging were things like:

- Managing the heat (windows open/closed at the right times and for the right amount of time)
- Looking at a variety of students (I tended to focus on one person at a time)
- People looking at me with that pained, "I'm gonna die" kinda look on their faces (I know it well, as I make that face at my teachers) - but they just looked so much like they were truly suffering...oy, that was hard.
- It was way more exhausting that I expected - that is a lot of energy to put out and while I knew it, I was feeling it too.
- Timing - keeping longer postures a full minute, and the second set half of that time - since many of those came at the beginning, I hadn't quite gotten in the groove of using the little clock I had.
- Trying to not be nervous was hard at first!

The things that were good from my perspective:

- I used a lot of dialogue - tons - and I was indeed surprised how much of it was "in there"
- Overall, there were no big huge mess-ups
- My newer-to-Bikram friends and a couple of the newer people simply thought it was "great!" and since in many ways they are my target audience (rarely will I walk into a room full of teachers randomly), that made me feel good.

I got some nice compliments too:
- My voice was strong
- I had good enthusiasm
- I multi-tasked well (with 1 exception) opening and closing windows
- I had good dialogue

I have plenty to work on - like practicing the yoga, teaching is similar in that every day is different:

- Shortening up set-ups, particularly in Triangle
- Working on timing, making sure both sides are the same length as well as making sure the first set longer than the second (where appropriate)
- Being more comfortable overall, owning it
- Strengthening up my stance, not moving (this got better after about 20 minutes...but still)
- Doing corrections (I did a few today that were good and went ok!)
- From my perspective, connecting more with the students.

It ended exactly at 90 minutes, and while it was my intention, it certainly wasn't my expectation that it would happen that way! I am glad to have one under my belt and expect my confidence to grow as I keep practicing!

Over the next while, I plan to do some logistical things (like my revised packing list) and I still have a few others posts up my sleeve. Stay tuned!

Pix: Above, Jill snapped a few of me teaching my first class, here's two - I'm probably using my hands too much in one; and obviously checking my little clock in the other :)


bikramyogachick said...

Jenn- Michelle from Vegas
I'm so glad you continued to post "post" training.
I read your blog everyday during your training adventure and when I saw the post tonight that you taught your first class I was excited for you even though I don't even know you!
I just want to thank you one more time for keeping up such a wonderful blog. I will go to training someday and I certainly feel like I know what to expect now.
Don't be surprised if someday you have students in your class that are visiting Seattle and come up to you wanting to say hi because they read your blog. It will be kinda cool for you because you'll get a slight taste of what it feels like to be a celebrity.
I wish you a wonderful teaching journey!

Carola Rodina said...

hey Jenn, and CONGRATS in the first class under the belt! he dialogue is presently taking over my existence, as i look to be talking to myself everywhere i go!!!
enjoy the newness of every moment every day!