Today was incredible. It was challenging yet triumphant. During the morning, I got to be a substitute teacher for a Horticulture class at a North Las Vegas High School. It's a regular AND adult high school. It had it's challenges, but over all it was great. We got to spend time in the green house. We planted sunflowers and picked some carrots. I had an assistant Mr. Brooke, very nice man with a lot of knowledge. The most challenging part was the kids that were not engaged, but again, the work is being done, those resources are there and most of the people there are trying to graduate. I've really enjoyed the few days I've had in the public school system. It's extremely flexible and day to day so I like it. The kids are great, it's really a neat thing to experience learning and share it like that. During the day I got to reconnect with the book: Teaching Yoga by Donna Farhi. It’s a great book, not only for teachers, but also for dedicated students. It explores the teacher student relationship, ethics and boundaries. Donna is a seasoned teacher and truly comes from a place of love. She also does a fantastic job at breaking down the 8 limbs of yoga in the simplest yet meaningful ways. I’ve done several Yoga Sutra studies over the years and I enjoy the simplicity of her definitions in relation to the context of which she speaks. I’ll have to come back and share her section on mentoring. I’ve had some mentors that did not help lift my potential, instead brought me down. Her definition of mentoring was great and it addresses things I have often thought about. I can’t wait to pick up her other books.
In my reading of the sutras I was reminded of the importance of teaching them as well as the 8 limbs (Ashtanga) Yoga. I incorporated it in my class tonight. It feels good to weave and thread the deeper teachings into such asana themed classes such as Power Yoga. Regardless, the teachings create their effect on people. It’s just so beautiful. We had an amazing class. I loved the energy, I felt so grateful for each and every body there. It was great. Afterwards, a student shared with me that she had done Urdva Dhanurasana (Full unsupported back bend) all by herself for the first time EVER! I am so excited for her! She was glowing, I could just feel the energy and of course I had to remember the first time that I ever did that pose. Many things were difficult for me coming from an injured body. It took me 4 years to do a full plank Chatturanga and there are so many things I am still working on and need improvement. We all come to the practice with different challenges, strengths and weaknesses. This is what makes the practice and teaching so beautiful to me. I feel so grateful.
I’m still getting used to the shorter class styles that people prefer here in Las Vegas. In Chicago most of our Yoga classes are 1.5hours or even 1 hour 45 minutes. Sure, we had 1 hour lunch time classes, but this was the norm. In Las Vegas, aside from my Hips and Twists workshop I have not taught more than 75 min. It has been a challenge for me in many ways to minimize a class to that length of time, but I feel much better about it now than I did 6 months ago. Las Vegas is just a different pace. I am currently looking for places to teach in East Las Vegas particularly:
East of Eastern between Tropicana and up to Lake Mead. I grew up in this part of town. It feels like a forgotten part of the city. We don’t have many trees or public art. I’ve stopped by the City Council Art Commission meetings and have not been contacted by them since. I offered to volunteer, but there was no follow through.
It’s always been a dream of mine to teach kids Geography through art and mural making. I’m a big fan of Philly Mural Arts. They do large scale community Art projects, really neat stuff. Anyways, thanks for reading this. I’ll try to be better about sharing J Namaste
On Valentine's day, I had to pleasure of driving up to the Bay area with my dog and best friend. We stayed in San Rafael, it's about 20 minutes North of San Francisco.
The goal of the trip was to:
#1 check out a Yoga Teacher Training Information meeting and #2 Visit my friend Kara Zamora in Oakland.
My friend and teacher Banyan Gallagher just started a Yoga teacher training and this beautiful studio called Embrace Yoga. The information session included a free class, this was a REAL treat. Banyan and I did our first teacher training at the same studio, Moksha Yoga Center in Chicago, 2005. Since then Banyan has had to opportunity to study with Eddie and Nicki of Maya Yoga, he has traveled to India and many other countries practicing, learning and teaching.
The layers woven into the class reflected his accumulated knowledge. The class included the use of bandhas, mudras, pranayama and kriyas. So often these days you walk into a yoga class and it's purely asana, pranayama based. This is the case in my latest teachings simply because the structures in Las Vegas allow for mostly 1 hour classes which is the norm. It's taken me months to adjust to teaching such a short class. I miss working at yoga studios that include the full yoga experience.
Anyways, after the class we got to sit down and chat. Several of the people in the class were former trainees and all had amazing things to share.
I was able to point out that his style is non dogmatic and multidisciplinary. I hope I helped to inspire some folks to take it.
I wish I could take it! Driving up to the bay area once a month would be awesome, but unfortunately I don't have such resources...HOWEVER...he's got a couple more teacher trainings coming up this year in Costa Rica and Belize!
If you are looking for a great teacher and training, please check out Banyan. He's inspired me to start working on my own teacher training, one that I intend on translating to Spanish. If you ever are in the Bay area check him out, book a private or take a group class. You won't regret it! I got lots more to share about the trip and the rest of my time in the Bay area with Kara. But I gotta run....much love!
Seasoned Yogini, Massage Therapist, Dancer, Lover and Animals, the divine feminine and so much more!! This blog contains my musings, stories of challenges, inspiration and the other things that make me human in this realm. NAMASTE