So, yesterday I took a 4 p.m. Bikram class before teaching a 6:30 p.m. class. I took electrolytes before class. I ate a proper lunch, and had a snack before class. I drank the right amount of water. And, shazam! I felt much, much better. I couldn't believe that taking class just before/after teaching was going to be a "no-no" for me - how inconvenient! It just required a bit more organization and planning, that's all. I had about 20 people in my class, it was hot outside so managing the heat was an added task, along with 3 newbies, but all went well! Now I've got me a little formula.
It's true when they say teaching is not unlike practicing - different every time. A bit of forethought does seem to have a significant impact. I'm all for that! At my 6 a.m. class today I got my first yoga teaching paycheck - I don't know why, but it just felt so exciting (not the amount, mind you :) but just the reality that I am really, really doing this! I am a yoga teacher, people pay me to do this job, and I am really loving it and enjoying it. More and more I'm settling it, getting to know some students and feeling that elusive 'connection' they talked about so much at training that was hard to articulate or understand.
When I'm getting ready to teach, I take everyone's name, put it on a post-it and do my best to really show up for them. I know for me, when I practice (esp. before training), my class everyday was a BIG deal - getting there, eating properly to plan for it, and just being in the heat and committing to work hard. Now, as the teacher, I feel a tremendous obligation to work hard to give my students exactly what I always want: A good, solid, engaged, meaningful class. And that said, some days, you're just off (either as a teacher or a student) - but overall, I find I work just as hard to (try to) focus and concentrate while teaching as I do when I practice. Of course they told us all this at training, but now that I'm doing it, it's actually sinking in a bit :)
On other note - two of my friends from training were passing through and we were all chatting about teaching and how that was for us. One of them said how it really cuts into your social life - and it's not a complaint but a reality - anyone thinking of teaching should consider this. Many classes are over the dinner hour, typically a get-together/social time (start times of 3:30 - 8:15 p.m.). Also, if you teach the wicked-early slots (6 a.m.), you get up around 4:30 or so to do it, so that (for me, anyhow) means 'early to bed' to get enough sleep - no nights on the town those nights.... Just something to think about - I had classes 3 nights this week, plus one 6 a.m. - which basically precluded me from making any dinner or evening plans until Friday (holiday). I hadn't really put that together in a big way, but when my friend mentioned it, I thought "yeah, you're right! this is why it's taking me 2-3 weeks to find a time to do dinner with certain friends..." That all said, classes are going well too - I'm getting exactly what I wished for, about 5-6 classes minimum/week, often a couple more than that, and it's all working in nicely with my other job(s) and responsibilities!