When I decided I wanted to be a yoga teacher (after my training...I wasn't sure I wanted to teach when I did my training), I thought a lot about what kind of teacher I'd like to be. Now I have a whole list of goals and qualities I'd like to develop and work on in my teaching. But, when I first started all I knew is what I didn't want.
I didn't want to mix up my right and my left.
You've been to those classes, right? Where the teacher can never fucking remember what side they are on, saying right when they mean left, forgetting a whole sequence on one side. I don't know about you, but when I go to a class I like to flow through it. I want my mind to shut off. I don't want to be forced to keep track of the teacher.
I know I sound awfully shallow right now. But, honestly, how fun is this:
Now inhale and step your left foot over your right shoulder. No, I mean your RIGHT foot over your RIGHT shoulder. Wait, is it left? Are we on our right or left? Did we do this side? Oh wow. I meant step your right foot in front of your left FOOT. Not on your shoulder! That wouldn't be possible. Okay. Where were we?
Ahem. If you've written a sequence that is so complicated and intricate that it makes you forget what planet you're on...well, maybe tone it down just a weeeeeeee bit. However, this is probably the teacher that I need because about the time she has changed her mind for the upteenth time on which appendage goes where and what side, I am about to lose my motherfucking mind. I mean to the point that I want to walk up there and start shaking her yelling, "GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER". So, you know, probably better for me to have that teacher so I can learn to breathe through it...
I'm not saying that I've NEVER forgotten a side or NEVER mixed up my right and my left or NEVER said "tittie" when I meant "toeies"...I'm human after all. But, when I am teaching, I am paying attention to what I'm teaching...I actually think about what is next and what we've just done and what side we are on.
When I first started teaching at the local Y, they had a R and an L on either side of the clock in the back of the room (mirrored) so all I'd have to do was look up when saying a side and holy shit: tada! Mirroring. I now imagine those letters on either side of my clock. And, now, I look down at my hands and see my wedding ring. Ring equals R. Tada!
Of course this ability to mirror comes with a permanent sense of confusion when it comes to left and right. Especially when giving directions. Or, the other day, I was working on a spreadsheet with someone and they kept saying, "scroll to the left, scroll to your left, scroll to your OTHER left dipshit".
One of the very best compliments I've ever gotten as a teacher (and this just illustrates this consuming obsession with not fucking up when mirroring) is when a student said, "I can't believe you never mix up your right and left." Earth shattering compliment, I know.
And there you have it. When I teach tonight I'll probably mess everything up.
*I apologize for hurting any teachers' feelers with this post. Just put it in your evidence folder titled: Babs-not a nice person.