I have been teaching yoga for a few years now… and honestly I can say.. I know nothing about yoga. Really. When it comes down to it I still have so much to learn. I am humbled, amazed, bewildered, fascinated and stunned by the variety of flexibility, skills, talents, needs, limitations and differences in bodies out there.
When I research how to teach yoga one thing that comes up again and again is to teach proper alignment. I don’t even know what that means. I mean, I sort of get it. Don’t lock your knees, don’t hyper extend, knee in line with, wrist in line with…. but all the bodies are so different. Many bodies I teach can’t even get into alignment in the classically instructed way.
My classes are slow. I feel like they have to be. I cannot imagine instructing a fast class. I feel like it takes time to describe poses. It takes time to listen to our bodies. To see if a pose even works at all… and to come out of it if it doesn’t. I feel like I have to remind myself and those in the class over and over. “Does this feel good? No? Then don’t do it”. Be gentle. Go slow. Be soft. Let go of any expectation. Explore. Breathe. In all honestly my two year old is teaching me more about body awareness and yoga than anything else these days. Her poses are loose, comfortable, exploratory. They don’t look anything like poses in the books.
I feel like a complete and total newbie again. I don’t think that is an entirely bad thing either.