Movement, Stillness, Breath, repeat.....


Posted by Elizabeth Underwood (Pure Movement Yoga) on 19 Mar 2015

Movement, Stillness, Breath, repeat, Movement, Stillness, Breath, repeat....

Teaching yoga for over 10 years I still feel an element of nerves as I step before a group of students or before I see my private clients. There's often a moment before I speak that I suddenly think, what if I forget? What if I freeze, what if one student struggles with a certain movement, what will I do? The latter is particularly a challenge now that I teach weekly at Springs Champneys. It is a challenge because as well as the regular members I see, there are always guests at the resort, new faces in the class, ones that I may never have the pleasure of teaching again. I love the fact that as I get to meet these new (and regular) people each week, I give them the opportunity to practice yoga they can do and for those who begin their stay at the resort a chance to re-connect with their bodies and begin the process of slowing down.

Seeing new faces each week also teaches me to have a beginner's mind. To remind myself that yoga is a new language for many and to put myself in their position. As I walk around the studio, I often see quizzical expressions (or faces of tension as they try too hard); I remember one of my first yoga classes, the teacher asking me to move my pelvis and I literally had no idea what she was talking about, I was always so busy thinking about what she was saying, was I getting it right, that I could not feel that part of my body. I see this in their expressions, they are still vey much in thinking and doing mode.

That's why I emphasise "feeling" so much in my classes and private sessions. What I mean by that is to continually remind my students to feel how their body is making contact with the floor, to feel the movement of their breath, to feel the space that is occupied by their body, to stay connected to the sensations of their bodies moving and to not be too concerned about getting their body into a particular shape, rather to enjoy the sensations of movement, stillness and breath.

I know as I begin to teach, I'll forget my nervousness and just like I encourage the students to stay present in their bodies, it is by staying present as I teach, by watching their responses, this is what guides the way for the rest of the class.

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