Every now and then I take a the opportunity to teach at special events. Today was the “Plants and Healthy Living” expo at Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu which was set up by my old friend Naomi. You never know what to expect when teaching at an unknown venue, so it is best to keep things simple.
There are so many different types of yoga styles out now, I wanted to find a way to promote Iyengar that showed the subtlest difference with the largest impact. Since this was an outdoor venue, the only props I brought were my bag of Pune straps.
I taught two 30 minute demo classes with a very basic standing pose sequence that can be done in a park setting:
Tadasana/ Urdvha Hastasana
I had everyone get a strap and put it around their wrists for the urdvha hastasana action. This creates a dramatic chest profile which is hard to attain without the prop. It was well received by the attendees.
It is not until you teach people with little to no experience that you realize the value of this method. It is step by step and un-intimidating. An attendee approached me afterward and said “I have never seen warrior broken down and taught that way before, I helped me a lot.”
What I appreciate about being a teacher of this style is that instructions are given for each movement in the asana one at a time. This allows the teacher to watch and see if the instructions are taken. I feel this prevents a lot of injuries for one. Secondly, it forces the student to pay attention taking them into a focused state. This in turn shuts down the mind chatter.
I passed out a few class coupons and schedules at the event to drum up some business. It is best to get students from a grass-roots level instead of mass marketing because you have a deeper sense of connection with them. The one thing I have found out about Iyengar yoga students is they tend to stick around for years once they see the benefits. Thank you Foster Garden for the opportunity to share my practice.