Reflection on teaching yoga at DDMMBA
By Veronica Gassert
I am happy to announce that I started teaching a yoga class this month at DDMMBA. See photos from my first class here. Yoga Class Pictures
I am really excited to be teaching again, this time in a slightly more formal manner at a religious center near me. The practice of Buddhism dwells nicely beside the practice of yoga, and so I feel that by introducing a moving meditation class, I am showing practitioners just a new way of cultivating loving kindness towards all sentient beings.
Everything came together perfectly for this to happen. The Dharma Master of DDMMBA Ven. Guo Chi witnessed my potential to teach after inviting me to lead a stretching session on a weekend meditation retreat. I sampled some of the basic poses, creating a gentle mini-sequence for the practitioners. I informed my yoga teacher at my local studio that I had been invited to teach and she happily lent me some blocks to use for the first class. Then, one of the devoted volunteers helped to organize and recruit students for the class. I can’t be more thankful for this beautiful unfolding of events. I am truly lucky to be teaching again.
One of the highlights of teaching at this Buddhist center is that many of the devotees are of Chinese descent. Since many of them came to my class, my students are nearly all Chinese. This doesn’t deter anyone from learning or absorbing the yogic experience, nor does it put up a barrier between me and my students. If anything, I work harder to connect and bridge the gap if there is a cultural barrier.
Every week I spend time researching and creating a new yoga sequence. I draw a lot of inspiration and ideas from Yoga With Adriene. Oh, she’s amazing! And with a teacher’s perspective, I don’t miss out on anything she says in her videos. I watch and soak up her instructions on how to find what feels good in yoga. It’s a treat practicing and learning from her. If you are even contemplating a home practice, go watch Adriene.
On one final note, I think I’m going to start posting about my yoga sequences, especially if my yoga teaching extends into the future. I’d really like to share tips on how to create sequences, how to get into a regular practice, and have a place to record my sequences for others’ use. I’m still just beginning to teach and working the flow of a sequence is still challenging to me. One day I’ll be able to look back on my sequences and see where I could improve.