I’ve been feeling off this week but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
I finished my 4th weekend of teacher training. We spent six hours with Schuyler Grant, the director of the studio and co-creator of Wanderlust Festival. She is an amazing presence that just fills a room with wisdom, grace and presence.
We practiced teaching with her (no, not intimidating at all. ha!), the same kind of spur-of-the-moment, you-have-3-minutes to come up with a sequence type group exercise like we did in Connecticut. While I’ve loosened up considerably during these exercises, I still find that I’m judging myself at the end.
I’m struggling with finding my voice as a teacher. I know that it can take years to hone in on your teaching voice where you speak from a place of authenticity. But the thing is that I feel like my fellow teachers-in-training are getting it or at least have a spark of authenticity that comes out and personality that shines through. I often feel like my voice gets dull, speaking like robo-teacher hitting all the alignment points of a pose.
OK, it might not be as dramatic as that but I don’t want to be a bad teacher. I want to teach well and I know that’s not something that I can control. It does go hand in hand with my personality. I hold things close to my chest and I’m not blatantly open for others to read. My teaching voice peeks out here and there in small glimpses usually when I’m comfortable and feel safe.
I love everything that goes into this training. I love analyzing the poses, deconstructing them, and the anatomy but that’s the part that makes sense to me because I can study it and know it. But when you teach, you have to be spontaneous and you have to adapt. You have to perform.
I went home on Friday evening feeling all of this and feeling vulnerable with more questions floating in my head than answers. When we returned to the studio on Saturday, we had a session on prenatal yoga and the pelvic floor with Lara. I won’t go into it all but it was fascinating and I have such a greater appreciation for the pelvic floor muscles and how important they are in our bodies.
Towards the end of the session, Lara wrapped my hips (adapted from an ancient practice). She had me lay down on my back and she placed a wide scarf under my hips. She then tightened the scarf around me, as if she were about to tie a knot.
In that moment when the scarf tightened around me, I felt a burst of energy from either side of my hips move towards my midline and then rush up my midline or central column and towards my head. It overwhelmed me. I could feel tears threatening to pour out of my eyes. It was the most unexpected, intense and powerful experience. In that same moment, the compacting of my hips made me feel solid and safe and stable.
Lara said that it wasn’t unusual to have this reaction. The practice helps to redefine one’s boundaries. After giving birth, our hips and pelvis are anatomically loose and this practice helps to reestablish a solid foundation. But also, as a parent, you lose your boundaries to your children, your family, your partner and in many ways, this practice also helps to reestablish a sense of self. I think that that’s something that I needed.
Yesterday, I read Tamara’s post and I realized how I have been feeling this week – tenderhearted. That seems to sum it up.
More about my yoga teacher training experience:
- Yoga Teacher Training – Weekend 1
- Yoga Teacher Training – Week Intensive
- Compassion and the Yoga Sutras
- Teaching Final
- Yoga Teacher Training – Graduation
- 9 Lessons from Yoga Teacher Training
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