Class Notes, Week 47: Saturday morning karma classes

The Moksha yoga teacher training program requires me to journal once each week about my experience with the poses and assignments + my practice and progress. This is part of that weekly assignment.

As part of the teacher training program, trainees are required to teach six karma or community yoga classes.  Karma classes are $8, and community classes are free.  Use your imagination which class gets the most students …

Yesterday morning, I taught my final karma yoga class.  For five Saturdays this summer, I got myself out of bed at 6:30 a.m. — to teach an 8 a.m. yoga class at Moksha West Bucktown.  It became a lovely little routine, something on Saturday to look forward to, something on Friday night to get me in bed early.

Despite the early-morning weekend wake-up (something I kind of dreaded when I first signed up for this slot), I will miss having this on my calendar.  I loved the exhileration of riding my Vespa to the yoga studio, walking into the empty space and flipping on the lights, opening a few windows, getting some gentle music going, anticipating who might show up that morning.

My classes weren’t big.  My biggest class was four students, my smallest class was one student.  But I loved that intimacy, and turning each class into “Yoga Cafe” — where I’d ask the students why they were there and what they wanted to get out of it.  By putting more ownership of the 1.5-hour class on them, I figured they’d become more invested.  (Although, heck, they were up on a Saturday morning at 8 a.m. so they were clearly invested already.)  I got to know my students each week and pay close attention to their practice — versus have a room full of students, spreading myself across the room.

My final class was extra sweet, as I got to share a special moment with a student.  I had just one student in that class.  She had some yoga experience, not a lot.  Melanie was her name.  We worked up to bakasana (crow pose), a pose she told me she had some difficulty with.  I cheered her on, demo-ed the pose, provided some key tips — and you know what?  Melanie held that pose not once, but twice.  “Lift your hips up, and your heart forward.”  That was the cue that changed it for her.  Her victory smile was beautiful.  Unbeknownst to her, that was her gift to me that morning.

Moments such as this make me feel like I’m making a real difference.  The difference is so subtle, so small, at least on the surface — but it provides more sense of purpose than standing in front of a bunch of travel executives to talk about the benefits of digital media distribution.  It’s amazing.

This fall I am signed up to teach two community classes — those are the free yoga classes. Free, of course, attracts many more people.  Eager to see how those go!

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