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A Teacher’s Rut

Posted Jul 28 2008 8:14pm

by Lesley Powell

One of the biggest mistakes is not taking time out of your busy teaching schedule for your practice.  I never consider the time teaching and demonstrating as my practice or a workout.  One is not focused on one’s self.  Demonstrating is usually one sided and missing the necessary warm-up and repetition to develop good muscular strength and flexibility.

I try to put aside time everyday for some kind of practice.  Practice does not always mean a heavy duty workout.  It is about getting in touch with my own bodymind connection.  Since I have my own studio,  I have the great fortune to take classes with my teachers.  Even taking a basic level class helps me stay connected.  A basic level class keeps the foundations in your body alive.

It is important that we as teachers stay fresh.  I once had a renter who taught the same class with the same music for three years straight.  It was deadly to take and the class never grew.  For instance, in teaching for BBU,  I go over the material for the workshop with a physical practice before teaching the weekend workshop.  Even though I know the material, I want to reawaken the sensations of each exercise.

Taking with other teachers is also a way to stay fresh.  It is inspiring to see how other teachers organize a session and how they cue different clients. Sometimes your studies can be in other practices such as yoga, somatics or even taking a tango or art class.  It is also about training your eye, your sensations and observing how a teacher works with other clients.

Each time I do my practice, I aliven my mind/body with new sensations, images and possible ways to organize a session.  Sometimes I have a problem to solve in my own body or an issue in an upcoming class or session.  This leads me into finding a different organization of possible exercises/movements to do to solve a problem.  Sometimes I create a theme such as the pelvic floor and how it works during a pilates mat class.  Creating themes is also a way to keep your clients interested in their workout.  To workout mindlessly, real change cannot happen.

So set time aside to take care of yourself!

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