Just like that and my time at Vikasa is almost at an end, it's hard to believe it was a little over three weeks ago that I arrived here not knowing what to expect or who I would meet; now as I'm preparing to leave (thankfully with big plans to distract me) I know i'll miss my time here. Some days were a struggle to get through; my comfy bed luring me in, restless legs in meditation, long afternoon lectures and of course the dreaded chaturungas. But when the days were good (which was more often than not) they were good. Mornings filled with beautiful sunrises, peaceful morning meditation, delicious food, hours by the pool or at the beach, massages, and new feats reached when Kosta pushed us the extra inch. I didn't actually come into this training with a full on intent to leave after and start teaching; to be honest I wasn't even sure I could do it. But now all of that has changed just a little bit.
As part of our final week and overall evaluation for the course we were responsible for preparing an hour long yoga class which we would then teach in a small group setting. It wasn't the ideal set-up as there were 8 different groups set up in our little yoga sala, but it was nice to have fresh students and some great teachers there to critique us. My group wound up being smaller than the rest due to an uneven number of students so there were only four of us, which was good on the nerves. I was eager to get my class out of the way (typical High School "I'll go second" syndrome) and so my class was set for Monday night.
I was torn between completely 'winging' my class the day of and being a nerd (like I am at heart) and preparing for it. I did my usual closet nerd style and prepared but not in an overtly obvious way to my classmates. It was actually really funny to watch the group as different people prepared to teach throughout the week, it was like being in High School all over again. There were those that prepared days in advance, some focused on freaking out, and others that seemed not to give a f@$#.
Personally I wanted my class to be something similar to my personal practice so I took advantage of our day off and ran through a series similar to what I may do on my own, but making sure to incorporate some of the poses and transitions Kosta had emphasized throughout the course. I was pretty comfortable with what I did so I went back to my room, wrote it down and let it simmer. The next day I went back to my notes, tweaked them a bit and put in 'cues' for myself of things to try and remember while teaching (breathing, adjustments, demonstrations, etc).
Actually, despite my initial nerves when they announced that we'd be teaching, I felt surprisingly calm and confident throughout the day. I knew the hardest part for me would not be the yoga itself but actually verbalizing everything to my students. Due to some scheduling issues I wound up only having two students, talk about tiny class, but it went amazing. I was nervous in the beginning and started speaking way too softly but thankfully my friend Ella (and one of my students) motioned for me to speak up. Once I was into the flow I was in my zone and despite a few mumbles and dropped volume moments with my voice I felt that my class went great, and amazingly my students and teachers agreed!
The girls told me I worked them hard, they were sweating and one even muttered "You're like Kosta" which, to be honest, I took as a major compliment. It's always scary to have someone critique your 'performance' of something in which they themselves are a master, but George and Kosta gave great feedback. There was a general consensus throughout the group that I need to work on my vocal delivery (called it) but aside from that (and building natural experience and confidence) they didn't have too much to say to me.
Although I'm not officially graduated (4 more days!) I now have the confidence to go forward and explore some teaching options after this. I guess I always knew in the back of my mind that I could do it, I just needed to prove it to myself. Also, although my feedback was good I'm in no way saying I'm ready to go out and teach a class in a studio. Teaching yoga is definite a learn by doing experience so I'll appreciate all an any friends that want to let me experiment with them, backyard/ office /classroom /just-about-anywhere-I-can yoga sessions here I come!!
High on the tourist track for a reason, home of good food (mostly) happy people, rich history and culture. Thailand as many tourist soon learn is just easy. Easy to visit, easy to get around and even easier to stay.