Teaching My First Yoga Class – One Month Later

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“the intent of this blog is to incrementally build a body of thought that works toward integrating various topics, yoga, fitness, and the arts – it’s a process…”


teaching my first yoga class – one month later



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The path is still pretty, but we're still not there...yet.
The path is still pretty, but we’re still not there…yet.


my wife sheila reminded me it’s been one month since teaching my first yoga class

seems like a year, seems like a day…


if there is one thing i must say, immediately, it’s how absolutely humbled i am by the people who have come and returned! to these, my first days and forays into yoga teaching

thank you 😉

second, is how much i’m learning by preparing to present and verbalize what’s in my mind, then presenting it – whew!

did i mention how much i still have to learn? 😉


why i teach the type class i do

the type class i teach very closely matches how i feel about integrating the fitness fields i enjoy – dance, aerobics, resistance bands, and of course, yoga…

as an extreme beginner 😉

and i don’t mean “just” seniors… [1]

but in addition, my initial approach was to mimic how i approach my art work and poetry:

create it and let it draw those for whom it means something…

thus, to present a class with the mix of interests that i myself enjoy in my own home practice:

* fitness information i can use and am curious about

* start and stop and start at a pace i feel comfortable with

* breath work

* physical work

* fun

* remain safe, yet effective [2]


when i approached my two locations with a proposal to teach a yoga class, it was understood from the beginning, that these would be exceptionally slow gentle easy paced classes –

that they would be meant for people uncomfortable or unsure of themselves in regard to beginning any type fitness programm

it had a lot of info i wanted to share –

info both my wife and i had been surprised to find, after decades of doing jazzercise, jogging, etc, that we not only didn’t know, but hadn’t known to know we didn’t know –

basic stuff, that impacts how a person can perceive their efforts [3]

third party supporting stuff 😉

lex gillan, during my teacher training immersion, often said my enjoyment of talking 😉 would  probably do me well in the type classes i planned, and was already writing outlines and sequences for

plus, as so often happens, after i’d begun my first class, i found more support, coming across a passage in “teaching yoga” by mark stephens, p. 142 :

“Start with basic elements – being present, staying with the breath, relaxing…In introductory classes go even slower, frequently pausing to assess for understanding and encourage questions.”

then today, i came across “viva la yoga” – great title huh 😉 with stuff like, “i want the old kind of class, the kind my mom used to teach…Whatever was would be, and she would guide us through the poses one at a time….”

main party supporting stuff –

and of course this is the guys and gals in the classes

they’re as patient with me as much as i am with them 😉

i show them stuff i can’t do well, and arm gesture the stuff i might never do –

and tell them it’s ok – i still benefit – i still get better, every day, even when i tumble

and i tell them it’s ok – they’ll still benefit too – and still get better every day, even when they mumble 😉

they show up in pouring rain, temperatures that are cold for round here, early in the morning, and when it’s getting into the evening

the most excited thing they talked about after class this morning? –

not the neat knee alignment work with the knees in chair pose, or bone compression limits to the ankles in down dog (ala paul grilley), or the neat four prong prone stance cross-your-ankles sit-back-on-your-heels prone to sitting move i got from rodney yee’s “yoga for beginners,” and it wasn’t the neat darth vador breathing we do at the beginning of each class –

it was that sheila and i are going to silversneakers yoga instructor class tomorrow!

they want to learn, they value fitness with yoga!

like we do 😉


from what i can tell, this must all be more than just a trend, as there’s a real response i feel resonating with the people i’m fortunate to be teaching with

there seems to be a real demand, a real need that yoga infused with fitness fulfills

magazine of yoga, in a conversation with ava taylor, in the subtitle to its article, speaks of “It’s actually very empowering, exciting and beautiful that there is a yoga industry because it means we as consumers are desiring wellbeing”

and when one becomes aware of the incredible efforts, in places in new zealand, ravished by earthquake [3], desparately clinging to offering things like yoga to a recovering populace, it feels like a groundswell gone good 😉

namaste – con dios – god be with you


related posts:

teaching my first yoga class – February 4, 20111



[1] i’m an early senior myself at age 60 and counting 😉

[2] afaa has a series called 5 Questions, that formulates what should be asked of each routine – safe and effective are two of its components

[3] we learn a huge amt from all our instructor classes, but our studies for our AFAA Group Fitness Certification, and our SilverSneakers classes, are among our top sources

[4] this is a first hand acct of the earthquake in churchchrist, new zealand – beautifully and powerfully written



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