Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Today in class: ardha matysendra instruction is the big riddle

Throat still woozy.. I believe it is shouting over the top in kapalabhati:) One gets carried away, na!!

The ardha matysendarasana has been obsessing me over the last one week... Text book instructions, and my own add-ons to that, include this: Sit on your heels, settle on to your left hip. Bend your right leg at knee, pass it over the left knee. Right hand goes behind, near the hip, or arm is bent to hold waist. You will be looking over right shoulder. Your left hand goes up, bent at elbow, and over and around the right knee to hold the right ankle.

The damn thing is by the time all the instructions have fallen in place, some smart student has got it all in, while another one who is dyslexic like me is agonsing about parts of his/her limb or worrying about left or right (I used to be and still am, slow that way:) and then while watching these two different sets of students do their own thing, I turn my head and become equally befuddled:) It was funny, really, because u realise it is not about the instructions, it is about pacing -- and being able to match two different paces in a class.. U chose to be with the slower one, they are going to put everything in the wrong place..and completely confuse you -- and if you are with the fast student, they are too fast to wait for the slow one and sometimes can get some important feature askew which could also confuse you, or have just everything pat in place, so that u have stayed behind in your instructions and that can also be disorienting, somehow ..  so the trick in getting a good ardha matysendrasana happening in class, with all the features in tact, was my challenge this week!! MMMMmm.. I fumbled between the paces, and that was amazing to me since really it all boils down to pacing the instruction and see if some of features are already known to students, should you skip giving it? I don't think so.. ? That will leave the slow student behind.. I think the trick is to allow the faster ones to get through the features of the pose,while you give it for the slower students, making them feel included and then time the pose from when the slower student gets the pose in place.. The problem with that also is, that some student will go on and on and try some feature of the pose for which he or she is not ready (grasping the ankle, locking hands under the bent knee, stuff like that) This student is not slow, but just stubborn.. .. so there are slow, fast, and over-smart students all of whom will offer you a fantastic challenge in the ardha matysendrasana -- this week, every class, was an eyeopener for me. Amazing, how u much u need to learn to be a dedicated teacher.. Always, this is the most humbling aspect of yoga teaching for me:)

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