Teaching the Trio

Within a span of two weeks I was offered two classes, one strength and one cycle, this on top of the yoga class I teach. Goal accomplished – I am now teaching the Bend Burn Breathe ethos! Trying not to feel too overwhelmed on top of a full time job (where I already teach), I thought it would be fun to share the experience of this week with you from each of my classes to round out the week. I am a little bit nuts because this requires me to teach late two nights a week added to my weekend evening of yoga training. Alas, it is for the love of it, and for the love of teaching and to master my craft.

bendBend: For my Sunday yoga class, I chose Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana as my big pose. I just learned a really fun way to do this with straps and was looking forward to sharing this with my students to make the pose more accessible and to build confidence. For those of you not familiar with it, you stand on one leg and extend the other leg and hold the big toe, and then extend the leg out to the side, and in this case, even take a twist. It’s not an easy pose and it’s easy to get impatient with yourself, not to mention fall over yourself. To build up to the pose, I had folks do the same thing lying down on the floor with straps so the body is getting patterned and prepared for the pose while standing. Back to standing. What a difference a strap makes! The entire class adjusted the strap to where they could extend their leg – and for a few moments, the entire class was in balance together. I was so proud and excited to pass on this gem of wisdom to them (with much gratitude to my amazing yoga teacher Pauline Kalish). Lesson learned, sometimes it’s just better with a little assistance. It builds courage and confidence.

burnBurn: it’s my second strength-based class the C9 Challenge, a new signature format full body strength and cardio class at Lifetime Fitness in Montvale. Something I’ve picked up along the way, and something that I regularly do now, is to write down my classes in advance. I love having a basic guidelines to follow so I am not just whipping out something off-the-cuff. I get to plan a well-balanced class for folks. Now, the other thing that I am working on is to increase my overall fitness level to really rock out teaching the class. Now that I am able to embark upon on training that is injury and predominantly pain free, it’s a slow and steady climb back up. I taught a pretty good class but was a little too overly concerned about how I would be perceived by not doing the class full out. I do have to say, that in many cases instructors don’t teach full out but mainly coach members. But I know deep inside that I would like to be in stellar shape regardless if I were doing the class. So I am in training, sore muscles and all. I did still kicked their butts and I was proud of the fact that I walked in with a well thought-out workout for them. Lesson learned, it feels great to be prepared.

breatheBreathe: I taught my debut cycle class at Sweat, a boutique cycling studio in Ramsey, NJ. It was the first time they were offering a Tuesday night 7:00pm class, so I was lucky not to have to fill someone else’s shoes or expectations. I just had to teach a great class (no pressure). One of the reasons I love to teach is to make a connection and build a community, something that varies from one club to another. When I first started teaching group fitness a few years ago, I flopped at one gym and was a rock star at another. I had a great conversation about this with the owner of Sweat. I also love being part of the general fitness community here in NJ. I was ready to go and dimmed the lights and started to music. I worked my ass off, making sure to give the best possible workout I had in me.  I got some great feedback at the end of class (and they loved my music, which is 3/4 of the battle). Lesson learned, put the doubts aside, focus on the members, and have fun.


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