Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Doing your own sequence in a lead class

I've been leading/teaching classes for about thirteen years now.  I won't say I've seen "everything" because as soon as I say that, some new situation will come along.  But I've seen quite a bit. 

This topic is one I think all instructors (and students) have faced at one point or another, be it from a regular attendee or a drop-in:  the individual who does their own thing through out a WHOLE class.  I believe most instructors or styles encourage the student to make the class their own, to modify when needed, to practice Ahimsa and self care,  but what do you do when you get "that" individual who is, literally, just doing their own thing through the entire class?  To the point where it's distracting not only you, but others?

Some situations I've been in:
  • Where they may be a significantly more advanced practitioner than the present class
  • Oblivious that their actions are affecting class (the person in the front row who's doing "their thing" and the beginners in back trying to follow)
  • They want to be in class, but they don't like the sequencing and do something different
I have yet to find an good solution to any of the above.

Well, except one.  I have had to stand in class in such a way that I couldn't see the individual (they were behind me). Out of sight, out of mind. 

This has brought a greater awareness of my actions when I attend a class elsewhere.  I LOVE to hit Corepower when I'm in the Cities.  Usually my schedule limits me to what I can attend, so not infrequently I'll take a CP1 class (their beginning class, unheated or moderate heat).  Some things I will do:
  • Park my mat in a back corner so I can take alternate moves without distracting my neighbors.
  • I stay within the parameters of the asana being offered.  I will deepen a pose, or work on the next level of that pose, but I won't bust out with a totally different pose.  
  • If the instructor pauses to break something down, I will pause as well and listen respectfully.  Who knows?  They might have a new approach to moving into something that I can bring back to my class.
  • Try to approach any class with a beginners mind. 
So my fellow instructors, what have you experienced and how have you handled the situation?  Or, if not an instructor, but a participant in a class, how has your instructor handled it?  How have you handled it when your neighbor is all over the place?

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