During practice teaching for Yoga Teachers Training (YTT), with my husband as my ultra- beginner yoga student, I was trying to explain to him the importance and some techniques of breathing. However, he seems to be not so interested with it apparently so boring. While I was counting through the breaths and when trying to progressively prolong each breath, so funny that he complaint and he said he cannot control because his breathing is automatic! So, I was thinking what breathing example to give him to relate to, that sometimes we do or instinctively do in some situations in our day to day lives.
To be able to engage and let him focus when trying to prolong breathing, as an example, I let him imagine as if he just knocked his shin bone at the corner of a bed. And at that moment, how do we usually react to the sudden pain is an instinct that we have to take a very deep breathing. Prolonging the inhale and sometimes we would even hold it too, and then exhaling very slowly because we are trying to contain and ease the pain.
When you listen to your breathing, feeling the breathing, maintaining a focus on the breath, this creates space and gives you ease. But I was just wondering, as yogis’ practice so many different breathing techniques, does it imply yogis may have higher tolerance of pain?
Yoga teaches us to be present and engaged with the moment. It teaches us to breath steadily and be patient with ourselves. Yoga increase your energy and calms the mind. It increases flexibility, mobility, muscle strength and builds stamina. It releases physical and mental stress. But there are times we feel bored in our yoga practice. Especially for some beginners who does not have that discipline, focus and awareness yet. I have gathered some feedbacks from friends on what makes them feel bored in practicing yoga:
1. Breathing part is boring!
2. Counting is so slow
3. Boring when no music
4. Boring when practicing alone
5. Some boring teachers!
I believe yoga becomes boring because it is either you are not training under proper mentor or you are not doing with all your focus on the Asana that you are doing. So, what is the most boring part in yoga for you?
The very first time I attended a yoga class, the teacher had asked if there were any first timers. As it turned out, I was the only newbie in class. The teacher then told me to simply “monkey see, monkey do” first because some unfamiliar words and yoga poses might be challenging for beginners. She will come to me whenever I needed some corrections or adjustments in executing the poses. All I thought being a yoga teacher is as simple as knowing the poses and then students will just follow. At that time, I did not make so much attention understanding the yoga practice.
When I joined the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), it made me realize that it was not as simple as I think it is to be a yoga teacher. I wished that If I could just simply translate the monkey see monkey do approach to telling my students like “just do this, then like this, and do like that…” then teaching yoga could have been easier isn’t it?
Till today, I still struggle preparing a lesson plan, putting together the instructions into words and then delivery to teach in actual is even more challenging. While teaching, I even still get confused which is my left and right when giving instructions while facing my students. Long way to go for me to teach with confidence. I need lots and lots and lots of practice!
And with this realizations and challenges during YTT, I had so much respect to yoga teachers.
Though we pretend to ignore but there are some uncomfortable scenarios we deal in a yoga class. It is distracting and sometimes we are annoyed of these disturbances and interruptions during a yoga class.
1. Yoga student comes late and walks noisily into class. Or a yoga student who leaves early. Likewise, when a yoga teacher comes late.
2. Seeing some students inappropriately dressed, having tears in the crotch or wears see-through clothing.
3. Mess next to you. Knocking over a water bottle or a drinking glass, then you spill the liquid. Tripping over an eye-glasses and almost breaking it.
4. Farts. You are lucky if it is just air.
5. Loud and exaggerated breathing
6. Loud noises like low-flying aircrafts, fire alarms, and mobile phones going off in class especially during final relaxation.
7. Falling into deep sleep during Savasana, and then snores. At times, waking up when everyone is about to leave because class is over.