Teaching to Learn: Goals and Results

For this experiment I had more than one goal in mind. I wanted to not only take the time as it presented itself to get together with other students and friends so that I can practice my instructing and build the confidence necessary to move on in my teacher training. Also, I wanted to focus on my own personal understanding of the asana and the many postures that I was now hoping to pass along to those who were interested in deepening their own practice. I decided in the beginning that each day/night I would attempt to sit down and plan out a simple yoga class; utilizing the tools and concepts we had been learning through our teaching workshops I started off well. I found it fairly easy to start, my intentions were simple; “growing and evolving”, “hip opening”, “chest opening”, even just choosing apex poses and then working backwards from there. By week one, I had remained consistent in writing out my “lessons” and later practicing them myself at home or with others. This exercise quickly became one of the most valuable along with my sadhana practices. I found that over time, the lessons were becoming more dynamic, they involved more themes and patterns than what I had originally felt comfortable manipulating into yoga practices. The most enlightening part of it all for me was the internal understanding that came with the practices. As I was work-shopping specific asana’s for myself at home such as; Vrkasana, Navasana, Trikonasana, Ardha Chandrasana, and Bakasana I was noticing how much better my comprehension was of these poses and many more like them. After choosing a pose to workshop alone, I was so much more prepared and confident when it came to working with other students and friends in getting them into these same postures and guiding them through a full practice. My proprioception had improved greatly I was actually becoming perceptive of the “fullness” in my back in arm-balancing poses which helped me to hold them better and breath into them deeper. I was much more aware of the hips and the many ways to open them in postures such as Virabhadrasana one and two. It is thrilling to be so knowledgeable in your own body and its movements that you can verbally help others to understand theirs as well. The rewards to instructing have started to really shine for me as well as the rewards of self-instructing and self-discipline. I would not feel as ready as I do at this time in my training to go forth and help others with their yoga practices if it had not been for this personal experiment and my new sense of so many skills. I have been provided with multiple tools and concepts to take with me for the rest of my life that will always help and encourage me to keep doing just what I am now.