Friday, November 15, 2013

MSOD: My Favorite Yet Most Challenging Yoga Class to Teach

November 14, 2013

Tonight I am grateful for my yoga class at Millington School of Dance.

It is one of the few yoga classes I am still teaching after taking on one full time and an additional part time job this year. There's just not much time left to teach but I was adamant I not lose my MSOD class.

I've written before about my MSOD girls here on the blog and even over on Elephant Journal.  This year we've actually expanded the class to include the teen girls from the pointe class, other dance students, dance moms & dads, students who used to take my classes outside the dance school and the occasional special appearance by kid #5.

With three other competing dance classes going on at the same time, it's not my most quiet, serene class. With the lights on, ballet barres stacked in the corner and dance shoes scattered around the room, it's not my most yoga-studio like class.

It's the only class I teach where I have to use my loud aerobics instructor voice to be heard over the music in all the other rooms leaving me with a strained throat every week.

But it is absolutely without a doubt one of my most favorite classes to teach. I never go in with a plan because I never know what the ratio of teen dancers to adults will be. I will be kind and just say the teens have just a tad bit more flexibility and just a tad bit more ADD than the adults usually do. Although it's one class, I'm really teaching to three or four different populations.

I absolutely love the challenge.

How can I explain the importance of building strength over flexibility to young girls without boring the non-dancers in the room? How can I instruct proper body mechanics to protect the lower back to the adults without boring the younger students who plop into a backbend without a second thought?

Oh and let's not forget the nights I do forget and don't separate the teen boys from the teen girls. The googly eyes looking across the yoga mat at each other and the boys "accidentally" knocking the girls out of a yoga pose are enough to keep me on my toes.

The adults have no trouble dropping into savasanna even with hip hop music pounding from the room next to us. The younger students usually start out tapping their fingers, then gradually even they become quiet and restful.

By Thursday evening I've already worked almost 50 hours for the week and I'm exhausted. But once we all get into the room and lay mats down, my energy is restored. I have never walked out of that class without a smile on my face.

I am thankful to MSOD for providing me a place to teach yoga and students who challenge and inspire me.

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