Happy New Year, Friends!
I wanna share a little with you about intentions, but I will start from this moment in my class last night:
My usual regulars had crowded into the room alongside the new students following through on their resolution to finally commit to a regular yoga practice…
As I finished instructing a pose, the playlist arrived at a chorus much beloved by my students from our retreats, and four or five started quietly singing along…
“Get over your hill and see
what you find there,
with grace in your heart and flowers
in your hair…”
Unusual for a yoga class? Maybe. Touching and sweet? Totally!
I’ll come back around to why I chose to tell you about this moment shortly…. But for now, intentions.
One way of thinking about new year’s resolutions or intentions is beautifully expansive: aspiring to either hit large goals or to have a generalized sense of success, abundance, ease, or clarity.
This is great in terms of holding a vision for yourself and being drawn toward it day by day.
Another approach that I have found useful has to do with being open to where growth can happen by noticing small improvements and new choices that can happen in the moment….
Every time you teach a yoga class you have a new, time constrained window with in which to experiment with your skill set.
Having an intention before you walk into the room can be a very interesting in terms of letting that guide the in-the-moment choices you make as you share your art-form as a teacher.
As an example, last night I set the intention to make sure I connected with the new students coming in with their own 2018 enthusiasm to try something new…
The most basic piece of this was introducing myself and learning their names.
But I also wanted to stay mindful of their experience as newcomers in two ways —first: touch on some of the key ideas and techniques I teach in accessible ways so that they would feel oriented to what we were doing, and second: to welcome them to the community by normalizing things like half of the room starting to sing along with the chorus of After the Storm by Mumford and Sons.
I did this by light-heartedly commenting that in my class people laugh, cry, sigh, and sometimes even break into song… I said:
“So, new folks, no pressure, give yourself permission to have your own experience, and know that you’re amongst friends who have gotten comfortable opening up together..”
I then made sure I thanked the newcomers on their way out after the class.
The next time you teach I want to invite you to enter into the experience with a specific intention that will guide and shape how you show up and what you are conveying to your students.
My suggestions today have to do with:
* Learning names
* Coming back around to key concepts that I otherwise might overlook, and
* Finding ways to welcome new comers so they feel more at ease.
Other examples might include:
* Making a point to check in with someone who had previously mentioned an injury, or
* Taking the creative risk of reading that poem or quote you love to the group, or sharing a little about why you love a particular song that made it onto your playlist.
That’s all for now. I hope this has been inspiring or thought-provoking to you regarding growing as a teacher in small deliberate, intentional ways…
Much love and best wishes for your year ahead,