Bikram Teacher Training Fall 2010

A Yogini's Journey to Become a Bikram Yoga Teacher...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Timing Your Yoga Class.

It's been a month since I taught my first Bikram yoga class. I teach this afternoon at 4pm, and it will be my 13th class.

Not bad at all for someone who works full time and only teaches in their spare time!

Classes are going well. No one's left the room yet. I remember enough of the dialogue to get the students through the postures correctly. In fact, I have had a few students come up to me after class to tell me they appreciate how well I enunciate the words. It helps them understand a little more about what exactly it is they should be doing in the posture.


My first class was two minutes short. Every class since then has gone over by about 5 minutes, usually because we start 5 minutes late. So my timing is pretty good. But while there were many useful things learned at training, one of the things we got absolutely 100 percent no guidance on whatsoever (until the very last night of training when we screamed out, "What about timing?") was how to time your class so you don't go over.

Here is the reality: If you say every single word in the dialogue for both sets and both sides of every posture PLUS give your students exactly a 2-minute Savasana and 20-second Savasanas in between each posture in the floor series... YOU WILL GO OVER.

Not by a little. But by a LOT.

Some people didn't realize this. Actually, none of us did. And those people who were superstars with the dialogue and are intent on saying is 100% verbatim soon learn this.

I'm not saying that the dialogue isn't important. You bet your perfect Standing Bow pose it is! BUT, saying it verbatim every single time is not.

My advice to trainees in the future is:
  • Learn the dialogue.
  • Know which parts of each posture are 100% crucial for students to be able to execute correctly.
  • Don't stress (when you are teaching) over missing small words here and there.
  • Pay attention to students and how they marry their actions to the words. When you say "100% body weight in the heels," are they rolling their weight back into their heels?
  • Always keep studying the dialogue.
  • Wear a watch when teaching! Check in with it! This keeps you on track.
  • Cut postures short if you have to. Don't ever cut Savasanas. You could get your ass kicked by students.
Hopefully this helps.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Always Be Prepared To Teach.

I taught my first back-to-back double yesterday.

My first double-teaching day was this past Thursday... I taught the 6:30am and then came back and taught the 8pm. It felt good, the the day was long... And I didn't get a chance to practice because I worked all day. But I am in the "early days" of my teaching career... And so any chance I get to spend time up on the podium is good for me. And I was prepared to teach a double that day.

Yesterday, I was not... At least mentally.

I showed up at the studio to teach the 9:30am class. I had about 16 students in the class. It went smoothly. I held Standing-Head-to-Knee pose a little longer for them. And I made sure to turn the fans on halfway through class, to get the air circulating. I was finding my own pattern. And when class was done, I changed into my own practice clothes and laid down my mat where I wanted to stand in the room to practice in the next class.

About 20 minutes later, I was picking my mat up off the floor. I wasn't going to be practicing. I was going to be teaching that class.

There was some confusion with the schedule for the studio. We recently switched to an online sign-in and schedule publishing system. The printed schedule (the old method) was slightly different from the digital schedule. And thus, neither teacher listed on the schedules showed up to teach because they each thought the other schedule was the correct one. Easy mistake.

So I ended up stepping in and teaching at the last minute. And I was grateful for the experience. All the dialogue was fresh in my mind. I had over 20 students in the class (my most so far). And the second class was better for me than the first. My confidence boosted, realizing I could teach back-to-back classes.

I very much enjoy teaching Bikram yoga.

I didn't get to practice yesterday, though. But I certainly burned calories in the class teaching. You still sweat a lot.

I plan to always have a spare set of practice clothes in my purse from now on... I never know when I may get a call and be asked to step in and teach at the last second.