Saturday, January 28, 2006

Second Class

Today (Saturday) was focused on verbally cueing poses during the first and second stages of the practice. The first set is comprised of three "integration" poses: balasana -- child's pose, adho mukha svanasana -- down dog, and a mild version of uttanasana -- rag doll. The second set is the basic suryanamaskara A -- sun salutation A: samasthiti, tadasana, uttanasana, half-lift, uttanasana, down dog, dandasana, chaturanga dandasana, urdhva mukha svanasana -- up dog, then ending in down dog.

I've probably done that sequence of poses a thousand times in my life. I know the basic elements of each pose, I know the transition from one to the next. I know the breath sequence.

But I know it from the inside.

Today we broke up into small groups -- mine was composed of me and three others. Cueing my three students was laughable. Watching them, I wasn't doing the poses. So I promptly forgot what followed what. When they cued me to cue them, I called the next pose and promptly realized I hadn't any idea of what to say. It was pretty funny. I moved into the sequence with them, just to try to remember what came next. (The teacher training teacher promptly passed by, reminding me not to do that.)

Blessedly, the second time through, I managed to get the sequence right, even though my cues were stumbling and difficult. Forgiving students are a must.

Perhaps that's why Alanna emphasized to us last time the importance of us being good students.
And the workings of karma.

On cueing: Find lots of ways to say the same thing. Some people will get one cue, while others won't have any idea what it means, but will tune into something else. There is a kind of eloquence that we can develop. Keep in mind as you cue poses that you are projecting yourself at the same time as issuing cues, and some versions will work better than others. Try out different styles in the training. It provides a safe environment where you can try out different approaches and styles.