I’ll be the first to admit that, hard as I try, my memory often fails me while teaching classes. There is a lot to think about and my mind tends toward entropy. Here are a few questions that frequently pop into my head while teaching:
- What is the next posture in this sequence?
- Did I cue the correct side?
- Last, but not least…Who did I adjust on the first side of this posture?
This post addresses #3. When I was first teaching, I used to wander around the room, assisting the people I deemed most in need of an adjustment. This resulted in me zig-zagging randomly around the room. When the time came to adjust the posture on the second side, I couldn’t remember who I had adjusted on the first side.
Here is a quick tip for remembering to adjust the same person on both sides. Break the room into sections (front right, back left, etc.) and stay in one section for a particular asana sequence. Within that section, move from person to person. Place yourself in that section for the second side and you’ll be surprised at how being in the right place at the right time will trigger your memory. Hope that helps bring more consistency to your adjusting.
Tags: yoga teaching
I recently stopped by a local coffee shop to grab a soy chai. It was a typical day, I was going through the motions. A woman ahead of me was attempting to order, without speaking. Yes, no speaking, only hand gestures.
She communicated her order fairly smoothly. It was apparent she was a regular. When handed her drink, she walked to the side to add her milk and sugar. That’s when things got loud. She was banging carafes around, metal thumping on wood, glass clanging against metal. The sounds were punctuating orders for lattes and chats between friends. Then it occurred to me, this woman was deaf. She was unaware of the cacophony of sounds. My next thought…how often do I, do we, hearing intact people do this? All the time. We clang, rush, close ourselves off, mindlessly going about our day.
The stark parallel between not being able to hear and not listening was made so strikingly clear to me in that short encounter. I think of this day, this woman, when I catch myself disconnected, preoccupied with my thoughts. She unknowingly, taught me a life lesson over lattes.
So, today I took a moment on this unusually warm Winter’s day just to sit outside on my deck. To feel the sun on my face. To hear the wind in the elm trees. To think of this woman with gratitude. Give yourself a moment today, as well, and let me know how it went. Namaste.
Jun 10th, 2012 by wpadmin
May 13th, 2012 by wpadmin
I just posted a new class sequence focusing on stimulating the 2 lower chakras, muladhara and svadisthana. Learn how to stimulate these vital energy centers here.
There are so many other poses I could have included…bhujangasana (cobra), garudasana, upavishta konasana, … What poses would you include?
Apr 8th, 2012 by wpadmin
I just posted another class that warms students up to practice One Footed King Pigeon Pose, Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana.
It includes lots of shoulder and hip flexor stretching and backbending. Check out a full yoga class sequence here.
In the full expression of the pose, the yogi’s head is touching the feet. However, for most of us mere mortals there will be some space there. If your shoulders are not flexible enough to reach back for the toes, use a strap around the ankle for support. Also, always remember to engage Uddyana Bandha when backbending.
Feb 10th, 2012 by wpadmin
I’m surely dating myself here, but do you remember the movie Mr. Mom where Michael Keaton’s son gets really attached to his blanket? Here’s a clip in case that doesn’t ring a bell: Mr. Mom. Anyway, yoga towels are my wooby.
If you are not already using a yoga towel, consider these benefits:
- hygienic layer between you and your mat (especially good when using a studio’s rental mat)
- sweat absorption layer, keeps you and your mat dry
- skid/slip protection
- increased time between mat washings
As you might recall from a previous post, I’m a big fan of Jade yoga mats (Jade yoga mat review). Let’s face it though, rubber is not the plushest (plush, love that word!) material out there and my pointy tailbone and I need a little more tush cush. My ‘Go To’ towel of choice was the Yogitoes Skidless® towel, but I thought I’d investigate alternatives before the outlay of any more of my precious coin. I narrowed the candidates down to Yogitoes Skidless® and Jade Microfiber towels.
Yogitoes towels are the most popular towels where I teach. Most of the teachers I know use them. I have 2 and have spent hundreds of mat hours with them. They are super durable, though not unexpectedly, have thinned out a bit over time. The dots (we’ll talk more about those in a bit) now protrude more than the towel, lowering the comfort factor. The Jade towel caught my attention because of my previous great experiences with their mats and because they are advertised to have great grip while being highly absorbent. I’ll share my musings on both and then get more tabular.
Fabric: The Yogitoes towel has 2 faces (in a good way, not like with that high school ‘friend’). The top side is a polyester/nylon blend. The underside is the same fabric with silicone dots that grab your yoga mat. Is it just me or do these remind you of the candy buttons I inhaled as a kid? The Jade towel, on the other hand, is uniform microfiber on both sides. When I first unpacked the Jade, I thought “No way is this thing going to be non-slip.”, but it is a magical fabric that really grips my hands and my rubber mat. It is super soft, dare I say… fluffy. Love! I yearn for reclined poses so I can lay on this luxurious fabric.
[A brief tangent on yoga towel grip. Never ever (by this I mean NEVER) use fabric softener on these. Not in the washing machine and not in the dryer. Use a mild detergent and air dry or machine dry on low. I'll assume we are clear on this and carry on.]
Portability: Considering how you will be toting your towel around, weight is a factor. At a featherweight 8 ounces, the Jade is a clear winner here. The Yogitoes is a hefty 22 ounces in comparison.
Lint: A category for lint you say? A must, I say, since these score on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Yogitoes does not hold on to lint, retaining cleanliness throughout practice. The Jade, perhaps because of it’s fluffiness, seems to hold on to every stray thread, hair, and lint ball that comes around. I try to think of these as extra spots on which to laser focus my gaze, but really they are a bity untidy.
Size: Standard sized yoga mats are 24″ x 68″ same size as the Yogitoes towel. The Jade towel is larger, 24″ x 72″. I’m guessing the Jade is larger to accommodate both their 68″ and 74″ mats. Undeterred, I just tuck the extra inches under the front edge of my mat.
Price: Jade at MSRP $34.95 is noticeably less expensive than the Yogitoes at $64, though the Yogitoes is more highly engineered.
Durability: The Yogitoes has lasted me years, hundreds of practice hours. I’ve put about 50 hours on my Jade and it is holding up well so far.
Conclusion: Given the comfort and price, I recommend the Jade towel. Would love to hear what towels you like. Feel free to chime in with comments.
|Yoga Towel Comparison – Feb 10, 2012|
|Product||Jade Microfiber||Yogitoes Skidless®|
|Material||Polyester microfiber||80% polyester, 20% nylon – silicone nubs|
|Approximate Weight||8 ounces||22 ounces|
|Charity||One month’s worth of clean drinking water for one person in the developing world for every towel sold||Donates 1% of their annual sales of all yogitoes® products|
|Holding power (to you)||Excellent wet or dry||Good when wet, poor when dry|
|Holding power (to mat)||Excellent||Very good|
|Comfort factor||Mr. Mom Wooby Level||Knobbly|
|Size||24″ x 72″||24″ x 68″|
Have you ever dreamed of being a yoga teacher, but were concerned it meant you had to commit to being impoverished? Then you might be interested in this NY Magazine article: A Yoga Studio – Joschi Body Bodega
There is an undercurrent among teachers that yoga and money don’t mix. However, we all have bills to pay. Teaching yoga doesn’t necessarily put you on a fast track to wealth, but there are approaches that can result in higher earnings. In the article, a yoga studio owner named Joschi Schwarz gives tips about his approach to profitability. It’s refreshing to see a studio owner talk about the money end of teaching in such a straightforward manner.
The article is part of the NY Magazine’s ‘Profit Calculator’ series which also provides earnings info for a diverse range of businesses; anywhere from a financial firm to a drug dealer. While the yoga studio article was most pertinent, I got a kick out of reading them all.
Mar 4th, 2011 by wpadmin
Every yoga practice room has its own personality. Some are Zen-tastic with a soothing color scheme and just a handful of carefully chosen adornments. Others offer a little more to look at, or distract you, depending on your mindset. There may be a Buddha or two; perhaps Ganesh makes an appearance.
Whatever the decor, the best environments are ones that enhance your practice. This might be through a minimalist approach or, less likely, with a wall of mirrors for you to check your alignment.