second lesson

In addition to a class at the Aldrich today, I was able to practice teaching with my friend and neighbor, Jesse.  We went in the backyard for another outdoor session and I did my best to guide her through some breathing exercises, moved into sun salutations 1 and then some hip and back openers.  Afterward, I got some feedback.  I got her into poses like the side angle stretching and as she started to strain, I pulled her back rather than pushing her into a deeper pose.  It’s a pretty good start.  I also need to work on my speaking skills “I want you to…” and “when you’re ready…” need to be replaced with “move your body…” and “at the end of your next breath…”.  It is funny how we don’t realize that we do and say things that are so much a part of ourselves that we don’t even see them until we create the opportunity to have it pointed out.  An example is hearing someone speak that isn’t comfortable in that role.  They may say “um” or admit to the people that they are nervous or admit their ‘stain’.  As Mitchel says, people don’t notice the stain on your shirt until you point it out and then it is all that they see.  The point is that with mindfulness, we can work toward eliminating these parts of our behavior, those stains that stand out as distractions to other people whether we realize it or not.  This may seem so subtle that you wonder what the point is but really, it’s about being an effective communicator so that I can speak directly to the students and my voice can be heard as if it is their own.  The ability to tell someone what they should be feeling in their muscles and to also tune into their own thoughts rather than mine.  An effective speaker does not need interpretation because you hear the words as your own.  This helps create a space where the student can be mindful of his or her own thoughts.  Are you pushing yourself? Are you telling yourself that you cannot do a certain pose?  Challenge yourself to try it, challenge yourself on the mat and you will find yourself taking that off mat and into life.

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