First, a confession: Only 1 person has registered for my summer group yoga series. I don’t really want to share this because it feels embarrassing. I expected it to fill up quickly, and so I’m doubting and questioning myself.
I’ve also been feeling unsure about what to do next. The truth is I don’t want to do the marketing and outreach I would probably need to do to fill the class. I don’t want to post a bunch on social media or send out messages and emails.
Then I saw a social media post this morning that helped changed my perspective… which then helped me find clarity in direction. It spoke to me as both a student and a teacher. Credit to @wanderingmat for the following message:
The reality is, the student teacher relationship is a co-creation; a shared responsibility between teacher & student. Not a blind following.
Modern yoga classes have taken away the traditional depth of the student teacher relationship, and 1:1 individualized approach.
As teachers we can do better by teaching to the individual as much as possible (rather than regurgitating one sequence you were taught), and hold space for students to speak up.
As practitioners, we can become more aware of our physical limitations, inner landscape and speak up when something doesn’t feel right.@wanderingmat
The truth is this is something I believe I do really well. I find it tricky to talk or write about my strengths because I don’t want to come across as arrogant or a gross advertisement, but I also want to communicate a few of the reasons why I think you should consider joining me this summer. Because I DO want to teach. I’m excited about what I have planned. So without further ado, here’s some more about me and my approach:
- Whether I have 1 or (a maximum of) 5 people in my group classes this summer, each student will get individualized attention.
- I will absolutely SEE you during practice. The instruction I will offer, which goes way beyond what I would describe as cues, will be based on what I see and what you share.
- My intention in teaching is to ACTUALLY help you feel better. My summer classes take into consideration what my clients often bring to me: lower back pain, computer posture, foot/knee/hip pain from running or walking up/down stairs. I am effective in helping my students feel better because I watch, I listen and I have a solid understanding of the material.
- My education in engineering physics, in combination with my training in therapeutic yoga anatomy, means that my understanding of yoga biomechanics is considerably greater than the average yoga teacher.
- When it comes to teaching technical material like yoga biomechanics, I value accuracy and integrity. If I don’t know the answer to a question you have, I will say so, and then I will go figure it out. If I mistakenly share inaccurate or incomplete information I will own up to it. You are invited to challenge me.
- As you might gather from my last several bullets, I work really well with scientifically minded, active people who are curious and interested in learning more about their body. If yoga sometimes feels a bit too “woo-woo”, but Western medicine feels limited in scope, my yoga classes are seated beautifully in the middle.
- I do NOT believe I am further down the path of enlightenment than you are just because I have taken yoga teacher trainings. So you will not hear me pretending to have life more “figured out” or see me engaging in the practice of spiritual bypassing.
- You will also not hear me telling you to change your thoughts, let go of your thoughts, simply “let go of all your tension” or other such nonsense that is rooted in toxic positivity and does not honor trauma, neurodiversity and, quite honestly, the human condition.
When I started teaching yoga classes out of my home years ago, I set my prices very low. As I’ve gained experience and (LOTS) of additional training, I’ve steadily raised them. These are not the cheapest classes you can find, and that is because I am offering a lot more than the average yoga class.
Moving through the summer ahead, I hope to honor the tradition of deeply personal and individualized yoga instruction. I hope to grow relationships with students that are a co-creation, as opposed to hierarchical. I hope there are people out there reading this and thinking, “Yes! That is JUST what I’m looking for.” And if that’s you – I hope to see you in class.