Saturday, January 16, 2010


So, now the class knows each other as they walk out the door energized yet hope, because the little worm of doubt has been creeping in during the session. The class energey seemed off tonight, you stumbled over your cues, you were feeling a bit tired, or you were subbing a different session and not as familiar with everyone's needs. Or your expectations for your session didn't quite matarialize and now you're wondering if you met the students expectations for class because they seemed more subdued leaving tonight and ohmygosh, did I say something that offended or didn't say enough and I forgot to put the music on but it wasn't the music I wanted it was all wrong...!


Take a deep breath.

Turn off the mental tape player.

It happens.

A quote from from Amelia Gambetti: "A teacher who says 'I am a good teacher' is in trouble. A good teacher is frequently troubled, in doubt, frustrated. Perfection doesn't exist."

Brenda on Grounding Through the Sitbones recently posted on being the student again (Leaving the Biz..) - on being able to let go of the teacher aspect and immerse yourself in the experience. Let go of your doubts here as well, you did the best class you were able on that given night. Next session is a different session.

So my question is, how do you cope with your angst when it shows up?


La Gitane said...

Sometimes we all have those days when we feel like things just aren't "flowing". It used to stress me out a lot - now I take a more preventative approach and try to cool my reactivity.

Things I do to help me get in the flow:
- Plan my sequences ahead of time and make sure they work by practising them myself!
- Listen to my Yoga music in the car on my way to teach
- Watch the class and try to respond to their vibe - if they look bored, pick up the pace or throw in a challenge, if they look tired, offer a simpler variation or stop and take a deeper look at a pose

At the end of the day, we're all going to have some days that are better than others - just remember, as a teacher you are usually remembered by the sum of all your best classes, not your occasional bad ones! :)

Sara said...

If I am having an off day sometimes I will address it and say something like, "Sorry guys, I'm feeling a little off today. I'll try to make sense." Then when I leave class I put it out of my mind. I can't come across perfectly all the time - or even most of the time.

When I first started teaching I would stay awake at night and worry but now I just let it go.

I like your quote from Gambetti.

yogiclarebear said...

im still working on my "coping skills." but ive found it imperative as an instructor to have a personal practice. not just practicing my own flows either. i find it important to be "led" somehow, via a video, podcast, or a class i attend. this takes me more out of instructor mode.

with that said, i also find it important to do my own flows, and i usually do them on the days i will teach them. this gets me in the "zone" to prepare for my class. ill try to listen to the music ill use too.

practicing presence and positivity in my life and especially in my classes helps negate any bad days, although when "angst days" occur, and they always do and will, knowing it will be right again should be enough. i have to accept low energy phases just as i encourage my practitioners to.

maggie said...

funny...those "off" classes are sometimes the ones when students surprise me and respond to them most positively. i think when we don't meet our own expectations, we tend to get tunnel vision and fail to see that maybe we're making a connection in a different way, on a different level than we might have intended. we can never know what someone else perceives, so we need to practice what we preach and let it go without judging. teaching is really just another kind of practice, isn't it?