Teaching yoga in Central America means that I have few regular students. Most students are tourists in town for a week or two who decide to pop in for some yoga classes. I’ll ask people a little about their practice prior to our first class together to gauge their experience. I’ve found that I’m often then surprised by what I see on the yoga mat.
Many students tell me they’ve got a regular practice in power yoga or hot yoga and then appear to be beginner students as we move through our flow. My yoga background includes lots of viniyoga and anusara yoga, which are both practices with a strong focus on alignment and on keeping the body safe.
Photo from The New York Times
Read the rest of this entry
Feliz Ano Nuevo! The bombas exploded at midnight, lighting the night sky and filling the barrios with even more explosions than have been heard during the whole month of December. Nicaraguense set afire both fireworks that exploded individually and effigies of the old year — scarecrow men stuffed with firecrackers, newspapers, and messages of a happy new year. When the explosions quieted, the visiting began – house to house as neighbors visited neighbors and friends and families mingled. After 1 am, the crowds dispersed – either early to bed or out for late night fiestas celebrating until dawn broke the sky. Don’t ever let anyone tell you the Nicas don’t know how to party.
My 2013 in Nicaragua finds me working in a hotel mornings and teaching yoga afternoons and evenings. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve mentioned before that I think a lot about what I say in a yoga class. I’m sure I put more emphasis on it than there needs to be. After all, who hasn’t tuned out their yoga teachers at times just to sink into their practice? However, you never know who’s listening at any time, and when that one word or phrase you say will sink in and make a difference in your students’ practice.
It’s fun to get poetical when I teach. Read the rest of this entry
One of my motivations for moving to Granada and living/teaching at a yoga studio was to teach more yoga. Despite the fact that I’ve been teaching for a little more than two years now (a fact that still astounds me), I very much feel like a new teacher. I stutter my words sometimes as I’m describing which limb to extend, confuse left side with right, and wonder whether the sequences I create are bringing the most benefit to the students in the room. At home in Austin, even though it felt like I was living, breathing, eating, sleeping yoga, I was only teaching two classes a week. Those classes were my islands. In those 150 minutes, I would reconnect with the mysteries of yoga, the infinite nature of the breath, and the stillness of bodies in motion. I yearned to teach more, but the realities of managing a yoga studio meant there was only so much time available for stepping into the role of teacher.
Read the rest of this entry