A Class Plan – AACK!

Last night in yoga teacher training, we did our first “class plan” as a group.  The plan consisted of a step back flow, some sun salutations, and then two standing flows (we stopped there).  Remember how, a few weeks ago, I was a little worried about this whole venture and my ability?  Well, then I did the step back flow and sun salutations and chanting over and over until I had them cold.  And that made me feel better.  And then last night happened.  Yikes!

Image by Tambako the Jaguar on Flickr

As we sat on our mats trying to figure out what pose reasonably came next (that would work in the body efficiently, make sense, and fit in with the overall goal of moving toward backbends later in the class), everything I knew left my brain.  All Sanskrit poured directly out of my ears onto the hardwood and seeped between the boards into the earth.  Even my awareness of the poses in English became almost impossible to verbalize.  Holy hairy heck!  When I got up and actually tried to move from one pose into something else, I could come up with something, but I still could not verbalize it.  I couldn’t find the words in any way – they just would not come out of my head.  Wow.

So, yeah, ok.  That was disconcerting.  But, I’m working on my santosa, you know.  So, it is what it is.  What can I learn from it.  Well, a few things.

  1. I need to practice my Sanskrit way way more.  I have an app on my iPhone called Yoga Quiz, that is virtual flashcards.  So, I’ll be doing that when not at home and studying my asana sheets more when I am at home.
  2. I need to think through what the best way is for me to plan.  Maybe I need to actually move on my mat to come up with the poses and then write them down.
  3. I still need a lot more work/thought on the purpose of each pose, because things beyond the obvious are just not yet coming up for me.
  4. I want to know more about what students want/like in a class structure.

Number 1-3 are probably my individual issues, though I would certainly take any recommendations anyone has for facilitating these particular goals.  Number 4, however, is going to require some help.  I need to hear from other yoga practitioners.

So, tell me, dear reader, what kinds of preferences do you have for class sequencing?  Do you  like a lot of poses in a standing series before the next vinyasa?  Do you like a building in intensity to a peak point and then back down (sort of a bell curve) or more of a rolling hill sort of pattern?  Do you find it good/bad/neither/both when the class is clearly built around heading for a particular pose or type of pose?  Any other sequencing tidbits that might help me out?

Thanks in advance, and namaste,


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