Let the Games Begin!
Practice Teaching in the Teacher Training Course

One great thing about teaching the teacher training course is there is time for questions and answers. And I’m not the only one answering! I have ten plus years experience, but you’re also tapping into a the group’s experience. For instance this course had lots of yoga teachers from different styles (Moksha, Hatha, Anusara, Flow, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Hot) plus other teachers, therapists for kids, parents and grandparents.

The question and answer time is fun to hear what people are wondering and what others have to contribute. Plus for every question someone asks there are usually a number of others who are thinking the same question.

One question from the course was something like this:

I’ve been teaching kids already but I still get nervous before a class.
Does this ever go away?

This made me think twice although it sounds like a simple question. It actually gets to the heart of what happens to us when we start something new.

First, my answer: Yes, but….

I looked back on some of my recent classes and I recognize my nervousness, especially before the first class of a series. Once I meet the new people and we get to know each other a bit, the nervous lessens.

But that first class I pull out my favorite activities, songs, and themes. While I’m teaching I tell myself to slow down when I’m talking. I make sure I don’t stuff the class too full, I remind myself I can’t teach everything in one class. Let the class be yoga: awakening, challenging, connecting with the students, the students connecting within, and hopefully a little community forming. And my favorite reminder: don’t rush.

I could see others in the course were nervous about their upcoming kids yoga classes. What exactly should I do? How do I do it? It was great to see all the great ideas that came out of the practice teaching sessions on the last day of the course.

One thing yoga and meditation can prepare us for is nervousness. My teacher, Tulshi Sen, gave a great talk about the mind and how it gets a hold of us. I think this often happens in the form of nervousness. He often says that when we can think the way we want to think, we may feel nervous but we can also enjoy it!

We can enjoy the nervousness of a new adventure. Does that blow anyone’s mind away? I know it did for me for a long time. I thought nervousness had to render me sleepless and I hate to say it, sometimes wimpy.

Nervousness does not have to be bad. It can be fun and exciting.

That question in the class helped me realize the shift I had gone through. I could see others who were on the verge of this shift as they break out of their boxes.

It is a truly powerful experience to see yourself change and unless we give ourselves opportunities to experience it, we will never know.

So thanks to everyone who came to the course for this experience. There are a couple of other questions from the course I’ll cover in my next posts.

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Train during the temporary online provision from Yoga Alliance

*Yoga Alliance’s Online Training Provision allows for both self-paced (watching recorded training) and/or Live Zoom Training. You can choose a combination of these that works for you.

You’ll be glad you did it!

  1. Hi Kristen, thanks for visiting. I love Albuquerque and New Mexico – there’s a big Kundalini Retreat every summer in NM and I’ve been there many times. I’m glad to see kids yoga is going strong.

  2. Thanks for finding me! I'm excited to see people teaching yoga to children. It hasn't really been done a lot here in Albuquerque. I look forward to reading your blog!


  3. Thanks for your comments – it really shows how we all get nervous still, yet it doesn't have to defeat us!

  4. Being nervous is natural and healthy to some degree. After all, if we are completely comfortable, we may not give be pushed to give our best effort. I like to remind our teachers in training (and also myself) to stay in the present moment while teaching. When we are being truly present, we can better 'hear' and address the needs of the children. Like you say, stopping to take a deep breath and recenter to come back to the present (as opposed to planning what we are going to say/do next) makes everything easier and can ease the flow to the class. I can remember one class of Kindergarteners I had. They were always a fairly lively class, but this one day they were off the walls. I had a great lesson plan all ready to go – and whoosh – threw the whole thing out to address the current needs of the kids. They needed lights out, soft music, magic mist (lavendar spray) and something we at ChildLight Yoga call 'Rest & Press'. We spent the first half of the 30 min class doing this relaxation and centering exercise. I ad libbed the rest, reading the needs of the students. It was one of the more rewarding classes I had ever taught mainly because it was so unpredicted and pushed to my edge. Yes, I was nervous, but being in the present moment allowed to hear/see what would be most beneficial to the students. And isn't that why we teach yoga? You bet! thanks for a great post, as always, Aruna!

  5. I couldn't agree more, Aruna. It's scary and nerve-wracking to do something new, no matter what it is. I too was very nervous teaching kids at first, and some classes brought it out again more than others. It all depended on the class personalities and environment.

    I love that you encourage us to enjoy the experience, and not let it get us down. This is excellent advice – as it's all part of the human experience, and we should all be grateful for our existence and place in the world.