Yoga Poem


Maybe it’s because my school is using a Seuss theme this year, maybe it’s because I’m really tired, or maybe it’s because IT IS AWESOME – I found this poem and wanted to share. Read in your best Seuss voice, preferably aloud:

If Dr. Seuss had Been a Yogi
Hello there, Yogi!
Would you like to go to yoga today?
No thank you, I am very tired
I slept so poorly… was up late, wired.
Ah, I see, but don’t you know?
Yoga calms the senses, helps you let go.
It reduces anxiety and stress
Helps you quiet the mind and worry less.
Yes, I know… But not today,
I do not want to. Namaste.
Would you, could you, here at home?
No need to go out, just sit down and say “Om.”
Take a deep breath in, then let it out slow…
Pranayama helps you feel good, you know.
Yes, I know… But not today,
I just don’t feel like it. Namaste.
Outside! Perhaps some yoga outdoors?
Greet the sun and make the practice yours!
I do not want to practice yoga today!
I do not want to! Namaste!
How about with a friend? Quick, call one up!
You can strengthen and lengthen and partner up!
I do not want to call a friend.
I do not want to twist or bend.
I don’t want to practice yoga today!
I do not want to. Namaste.
I know! How about yoga on the beach?
Sand under your toes, as you stretch and reach!
Ocean breeze upon your cheeks,
As you work your core—those abs and obliques!
Are you not listening to what I say?
No yoga for me, not today.
Not on the beach, and not under the sun.
Not with a friend, not with anyone!
Not by myself at home on my mat
I just don’t want to, and that is that.
But yoga makes you feel so strong!
Heart is open and muscles long!
I know you’re tired, and grumpy too,
But yoga is the thing to do
To lift your spirit and your mood
You’ll have a better attitude!
Okay! Since you refuse to quit,
I guess I can practice… a little bit.
I will unroll my mat and see
What a little asana does for me…
Say! Breathing does help me relax!
I’ll just do a few more minutes, max.
These forward bends feel pretty good
They release my back, so I guess they should.
Maybe just one downward dog,
My head feels clear now, no more fog!
I’ll glide to plank and lower down
I’m really feeling better now!
Sun Salutations and Warrior Two
My blood is pumping and flowing through
My body strong, my mind is still
I’m feeling centered, zen and chill.
I’m so glad I practiced yoga today!
The light in me sees the light in you…



Opening + closing a class


Thanks again for a great class. I am soooo enjoying our time together. Here are some of my thoughts (in no particular order)

  • When you ask a question during your opening or closing monologue, pause for students to internally answer.
  • Always say your name and remind students what class they are in.
  • If guiding the breath and using a word like “pause,” watch your timing. If you’re asking them to hold the breath, give them a count, e.g: “Inhale and hold for 3-2-1.” If you’re asking them to hold the posture, but want them to continue breathing normally, give them a cue, saying something like “don’t hold the breath, but hold the posture”.
  • Your voice still needs to be loud, even if your instructions are gentle.
  • Always consider the beginnings and endings of your monologues. The first + last words out of your mouth are the ones that people tend to actually hear. Practice making them smooth.
  • If you say something, always say it with conviction; don’t trail off.
  • Remember that you are setting the energetic tone for the entire class from the moment the student sees you.
  • Don’t apologize for being yourself.
  • It can be hard to pick and choose themes, but it’s generally a good idea not to use too many in succession. Give students time to let big ideas resonate before introducing new ones.
  • It’s easy to ramble before the final namaste. Resist this trap! Practice, practice, practice.
  • Always give some minimal anatomical or alignment cues for savasana, including bolster or blanket under the knees for low back tenderness.
  • Try to give experienced students in the class the option to go into the pose if they know it (before going through step by step instructions).
  • Remember to take your time when you talk – nervousness can often make us speed up our speech. Slow down, take a breath, continue.


Opening-Closing Assignment Comments


First I want to say that I very much enjoyed this exercise and seeing everyone’s different takes on the assignment. I would like to comment on the critique process and say that the honest critiques are very valuable. I do feel that is important to give positive feedback as well so that we can learn what works as well as what doesn’t.

  • I feel that everyone is showing less nervousness and more confidence in leading.
  • I really loved when imagery was used to help us leave behind the world and find our place on the mat. I especially enjoyed the roots imagery.
  • I almost always enjoy some humor in a yoga class. I have found that, when I laugh, I realize that maybe I wasn’t breathing as well as I thought I was. It is a good way to make sure that people are breathing.
  • Introducing yourself and discussing the class that you are about to teach is non-negotiable
  • We can all work on volume, tempo and avoid trailing off
  • Even though it is just intro or ending, it is still nice to have options like keeping hands apart above your head or opening your eyes.
  • We need to be cognizant of cuing that first deep breath and not have students holding their breath too long. I will say, though, that I’ve seen that happen with many experienced teachers
  • After savasana and before namaste, if there is a message, I enjoy it being concise and clear without a lot of discussion.

Notes from Sunday


Let me start with saying that I think each one of you is going to make an amazing teacher! We all have different personalities that make us the awesome group of ladies we are 🙂 I have enjoyed every minute of our teacher training sessions together and would not trade our time together for anything. I have learned so much from each one of you and appriciate your honesty when we critique each other. Below are my notes from class…

-Remember to complete your thoughts
-Talk loud
-Don’t trail off
-Give anatomical ques and modifications (bolster under legs) for Savasana or Pranayama
-Be honest with your students
-Introduce yourself and the class you are teaching
-Give students time to get out of Savasana before closing
-Speak clearly
-Remember to SMILE 🙂

Thoughts on Class Opening

  • Talk louder
  • Offer modifications 
  • Pause and allow time for students to process thoughts being shared
  • Be cautious of starting practice with too much relaxation
  • I feel that it is necessary to over explain a stretch or a pose when the eyes are closed than to under explain a stretch or a pose

Thank you ladies for a very enjoyable Sunday class.