I have been spending so much time on my yoga mat that I feel like I need one with me all the time. I keep one at the studio, one in my car and one at home. The one I use at home is getting worn because every time I roll it out and jump on it my little kittens jump on it too. Their little claws are putting some prick holes in it and they chew the edges, sharpen their nails and roll all over it. I don’t honestly mind having the mall over it and it doesn’t change my sequence, since I keep moving and they move to get out of the way for the most part. There have been times that I’m doing chaturanga dandasana and they won’t get out of the way so I just hover above them and push back up to plank and down-ward facing dog instead of using upward facing dog. Either way I’m working my arms, core, chest and back.
For every class I teach I have a new sequence and yes I title my sequences based on what we are doing, what music I’m using and where I expect to the take the class for that hour. I save each sequence and although I may use pieces of it for a future one I haven’t used the same sequence in its entirety yet. I am constantly thinking about my sequences, perfecting my postures that I want in my personal practice and enjoying each every moment I’m on the mat. It almost becomes a dance on my mat, a finely tuned, controlled choreographed dance.
I do show up to my classes with a sequence ready and practiced but also tweak it and make changes on the fly depending on who is in my class, how many people are there and how people are feeling. I did go in on Sunday without a sequence, without a plan but had spent so much time doing my own practice that I felt comfortable letting it flow. I did this because I wanted to ask them what they wanted, how they were feeling and get feedback. What I learned very quickly is that they are not there to give me suggestions and would prefer I just come in ready with a good sequence and modifications on the days that they need it. Someone might feel really good one day and be totally off the next day. It all depends on how they slept, what they ate, how hydrated they are, what kind of stress they carrying and just how their body and minds feel that day.
In my everyday life I wake up and assess what am I working with that day and am I feeling strong, is my body stiff or tired, is my mind clear. Sometimes I wake up feeling really stiff and sore and overly tired so I start out slow with some stretching before I even do my first sun salutation and then things start to loosen up and feel free. On days I teach I arrive at the studio 60 minutes before class so I have a full 45 minutes to warm up my body and warm up the room before the first group of people start coming in. It is hard to get the body to move in certain ways when you are cold and with winter the studio starts off cold but we warm up it nicely. I will also take us through some internal warming postures to get things moving easier.
The best part of figuring out what works and putting it all together. I use my body to help gauge but also realize that my body is very strong even with MCTD so I do not ever assume that my students are all capable of doing what I do and offer levels, modifications and invite them to all work at their pace and with the body they are working with on that particular day. I love teaching and wish I could do more of it. Someday I hope to do a lot more of it.
I won’t be giving up spinning or walking but I did have to take a break which I will discuss in another blog post and what I realized is that even when I can’t do that regular cardio and weight training I can do yoga which makes me very thankful.