Well, as with everything we do with our Yoga Teaching, there was some interesting challenges, but the experience overall was VERY rewarding last week when I taught my first class on-site at their office as part of my Seva (meaning “in service” or FREE) yoga instruction program.
First of all, I can’t recommend enough arriving about a half hour early to set up your space and then sit quietly meditating in the space, to get used to the new environment. I did my class on site at a busy interactive/creative agency in Koreatown here in LA. We had to move furniture into the conference room and the students were out in a main area in which many office cubes were on the perimeter. The challenge was that many people were still on phone calls and walking in and out through the space…makes it a bit difficult to “hold” the sacredness of the space. But a few votive candles and softly playing “Triple Mantra” on my little Ipod speaker began to give people the idea to quiet down. (see photo of my makeshift “Ipod Altar”).
Also a bit disappointing (but not surprising) was that of the ten people who RSVP’d, only 3 showed up. Always plan for a few folks to back out. It shouldn’t matter if there is one person or 50, we are still there to help and guide student(s) through a positive experience. My three ladies were all pretty young and fit and had mentioned they had “done yoga a few times before and were pretty flexible”. When I asked if they had done Kundalini all three pairs of eyes popped open a bit as if to say..”uh…kundaWHAT?” It was very interesting taking them on the journey through their first Kundalini class. The ritual/outline for doing Kundalini included, of course, some new things like chanting and breath of fire. We did a seated set with lots of arm work, Nahbi kriya, then Sat-Nam Wahe Guru meditation. I realized that I am a lot more used to doing these exercises and postures and that it was a lot harder on the students than I had anticipated. It is important to watch carefully how they are handling things to assess what level they are currently at..
The only thing I flubbed up was I forgot to open up with Ong Na Mo Guru Dev Namo! Oops! I was tempted to go back to do it, but we were about ten minutes into the program, so I just made sure to be especially mindful of our meditations later in the class.
Overall I got great feedback from everyone. I love it when you transition out of the scary first minute or so as a new teacher, when your heart is pounding, and then you truly relax into being observant and thoughtful, feeling a real sense of zen and focus in what you are sharing. Everyone commented on feeling refreshed and in particular on how interesting the chanting was for calming their minds (once they got over feeling self conscious).