10,000 Vinyasas

Teaching The Primary Series

by on Jul.13, 2011, under teaching, Yoga, Yoga practice

As mentioned, this week I was called upon to teach Primary Series twice for the very first time in my teaching career. As is true with my entire teaching experience, I found it difficult and rewarding. I have previously posted on the difference between counting the breaths and using descriptive words in teaching Ashtanga, and this week offered an opportunity to explore that. My first class was rather, well, like my first teaching experience: nervous and excited, but with some confidence that I could translate the knowledge I had to my students. After all, I have been teaching a modified version of Primary Series for quite some time, so I only had to add the rest of the series. Of course, I was somewhat awkward in my verbiage with these “new” poses, but everything seemed to work out well–I only forgot a couple. My second try was better. Ten people showed up, some of whom were obviously inexperienced, but they all stayed until the end. I also tried to add in the traditional elements of the led Primary that I have been taking recently, even chanting the opening and closing mantras, even though that is not often done at the gym (for fear of offending those who think we are trying to convert them to the “religion” of yoga). Of course, my counting is far from perfect and I need more experience in counting in Sanskrit beyond Suryanamascara A and B, but overall, it was great fun. I was quite impressed with the students who were new or had limited abilities continuing the class until the end, remembering clearly how ferociously difficult I found the Primary Series when I first encountered it. At any rate, I will be looking for more opportunities to teach Primary in the future. As always, I must express my gratitude to my many teachers who have given of themselves and conveyed their knowledge and skill to my great benefit.

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