Class Notes, Week 35: The video review

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.

Hallelujah, it’s over.

At last, I’m on the other side of the video review — the assignment that most Moksha yoga teacher trainees dread.

The video review is a public yoga practice led by three trainees, divided into three solo parts.  The practice is videotaped then critiqued by the program director, Daren, and fellow teacher trainees.  It’s kind of like each trainee’s “yoga coming out party.”  We each get a chance to show what we’ve learned during the last nine months, and apply it to a class setting.

It’s been fun to attend my fellow trainees’ video reviews to witness their transformation as teachers, and learn from their successes and challenges while leading the practice.  Plus, it’s been a treat to recognize our emerging styles, which are varied.  (We’ll all appeal to different types of students, kind of like different flavors of ice cream.)

But, now it was my turn.

I took the first part of the practice — the open and the warm up.  When I rang my little bell to signify the start of class, I was an organized bundle of nervous energy.  I tried not to let it show, and think I succeeded.  It was a shock to me, though.  As I hadn’t anticipated being so damn nervous!  Why wasn’t I exuding confidence?  Shouldn’t I own this, given all of the practicing my co-teachers and I did over this past month?

I suppose it’s a testament to how important this yoga teacher training is for me — if I didn’t care, or wasn’t super serious, I wouldn’t have been so wound up.

Words came pretty easy (thanks to tons of practice), and I had fun leading the first part of class.  Although the critiques (especially the self-critique) were way more than these two items below, these are the two biggest areas of improvement upon which I plan to focus over the next few months:

1) Cueing downward facing dog.  I did not provide the right cues for students.  On the first attempt, even after demo-ing, students didn’t respond immediately.  My heart dropped when students knees stayed on the floor — when those hips should have been up in the air.  WTF.  I am going to include downward facing dog in all of my beginner classes this summer, to experiment with words and nail the appropriate cues for this important foundational pose.

2) Observing students more thoughtfully.  This is an ongoing intention.  While watching the video, I noticed body alignment issues that went unaddressed and unadjusted.  I walked right past some of them!  If I weren’t so nervous, perhaps I would have been more aware.

Overall, I’m happy.  And ohhhh-so relieved.  It was rewarding to get such incredible praise from Daren and my teacher trainee peers — as well as with the constructive critiques that didn’t feel so good on the ego.  (I made a conscious effort to acknowledge my mistakes and not get defensive.)

But, I’m glad that I wasn’t “perfect.”  It lights a fire.  It makes me want to continue improving, continue learning, continue growing a yogini.

After the video review, with my co-teachers Lisa (left) and Beth (right).

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