Observing Yogis in their Natural Environment

Last night, I had the opportunity to do my first observation of a vinyasa class for my teacher training.  I took 7 pages of notes, but I’m not going to cover them all here!  But, I do want to briefly discuss  my top “take away” lessons from this first observation.

  1. Wow.  Just wow.  Watching a room of people do yoga is so beautiful and inspiring and wonderful.
  2. I have always been impressed with my instructors, but I’m even more impressed right now.  Watching the teacher last night juggling leading the class, doing verbal and physical adjustments, assisting students who were unsure, making changes based on where the group was, controlling the music, monitoring the time, and fitting in pranayama and philosophy too.  Holy cow!
  3. While I suppose I know it intellectually, it was interesting to really “see” the facts that poses look so different in different bodies, understanding of directions really varies widely from person to person, and experience of difficulty and ease in a particular pose has a huge variation across a group.
  4. In my college classes, I tend to operate with the idea that you frequently  have to stir up a little bit of psychological discomfort or disease to get people to a place where they can learn something new or see it in a different way.  During this class, I watched this in action in yoga.  Small changes from “the norm” visibly shook students up and I could see it making them think more about what they were doing.  Nifty.
  5. There are some rather lofty and meta-epistemological ideas that can be presented in regard to yogic thought, and doing so in a way that reaches people but doesn’t overwhelm them or feel “preachy” is a hard balance.  I loved seeing it in action from the vantage point of an observer rather than a student.
  6. I’m not the only one who has a hard time staying upright in standing revolved twist poses.  Yay! 😉

So, yeah, this was very cool and I’m looking forward to doing it again, and also to writing up my more specific thoughts about the class structure etc. (though I probably won’t share that here).

It’s funny what a change in, literal, perspective will do to change  your mental perspective!



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