A fantasy: This is new, thoughts on (me) teaching
Curious thing, since I came back from Manju's TT course I've begun to think about teaching Ashtanga.
OK, admittedly it was supposedly a TT, a teacher's training but that wasn't why I went. I went because I wanted to spend time with Manju, explore adjustments and because if I ever did want to teach someday, perhaps when we eventually move back to Japan then I should take the opportunity to spend time with Manju while I'm here, while I'm able ( not sure if he'll ever make it to Japan in the future).
That teaching certificate just says I've completed 25 hours of a teacher training course
And yet the first thing I did when I came back was start to think how many mats I could get in our downstairs room, if I cleared it and we pretty much moved upstairs.
Then yesterday I started to think about work. We have a room upstairs where we have a kind of Music School. It's not used in the morning. I went up and had a look, it would be ideal ( alright, it would be just about OK) for an Ashtanga space.
I started to think about the details, how many Mysore classes in the beginning, how many Led classes or intro's to Mysore....
How does one grow a shala from scratch?
Then perhaps some Yoga for musician classes and Vinyasa Krama in the evening.....
I was actually getting pretty serious about this.
But I'm not ready to teach, to share any of this....but then are we ever, don't you learn from teaching...
I say teaching but more a case of providing the space to practice, sharing what Manju and Ramaswami have shared with me, my own experience practicing alone.
How ironic, the Home Ashtangi setting up a shala. No doubt I'd be better off practising in a shala for a year before i even consider this but then perhaps I have a particular perspective on this, maybe it's not such a bad thing that' I've practiced at home, I could be encouraging my Ashtangi's to develop a home practice...
Manju talks of himself as a messenger rather than a teacher.
I could be the local Mysore UPS guy.
And it's exciting, never really felt like teaching before, I'd do it if I was asked and enjoyed the experience too but didn't want it to interfere with my own practice.
The course with Manju was a game changer, started to see teaching ( lets call it teaching for convenience sake) as a practice in itself. Adjusting a practice in itself ( for some reason this ended up as 'Adjustmenting' before the edit...kinda like that 'word'), in how you set up and align your own body to deliver the adjustment without any strain, the breath focus. Manju moving around the room chanting gently to himself, in his own world and yet also aware, very much aware of what's going on in the room, everything that's going on.
Teaching, sharing the practice seem to be all about karma yoga.....
Perhaps it's just time
Perhaps I'm ready....almost.
Then of course I started to think about the details, need to brush up on my Vinyasa count etc. if I'm going to present a Led (good god am I seriously considering this) but then I've been working a lot with Manju's DVD, the one chanting the names and vinyasa count along with the drishti, need to fully nail it but that's not a problem.
Brush up my shanti chants, rather than just mumbling through the tricky bits
Spend some time with Monica Guuci's beginner ashtanga book perhaps as a nice intro to complete newbies.
And the adjustments I learned with Manju, need to practice them more on M. ( sorry darling- she prefers Vinyasa Krama) but then I don't have to force them on people or practice every one of them but rather, allow myself to become more confident with the more straight forward adjustments and let the others come as that confidence with other bodies grows. Manju's adjustments are in many ways straight forward, there seems to be an industry grown up around adjustments and assists, distracting from the practice perhaps. I don't know, guess I'd see, a steep learning curve.
Practice the Ashtanga pranayama routine more strictly.... I tend to go off and adapt it slightly to how Ramaswami taught us......
When you start to learn something people tend to like a clear fixed routine that they get to grips with, a framework, even if they don't stick to it, nice to provide that option.
It's all not that far that, I could do this, make Manju's presentation of Ashtanga available in this town as well as Vinyasa Krama, see how the two approaches work together, play off each other.
Best thing of all is that I'd be doing it around my other job, have time to allow it to grow naturally, not making my livelihood out of it.
This is all fantasy of course. I might suggest it to my boss at work and he may well shoot me down right away, I'm sure he will.... but then perhaps I'd just start thinking about other options, church halls,....must be somewhere around here that would allow me to provide a practice space. I could just rent somewhere cheaply for the year ( even if it doesn't pay for itself, just take the hit and put it down to experience) and if anyone comes fine, if not, well that's fine too, can do an extra practice, more pranayama, meditation.
Actually like the idea of having this space and practicing alone in it, somebody comes, great (eek) nobody comes, fine too.
But god, what if it takes off, what if this town is hungry for ashtanga and I open the doors to find twenty keen wannabe Ashtangi's waiting outside....
Not saying this going to happen of course, it's a fantasy and this is just a a blog but it's a fantasy I'm beginning to consider more seriously.