A Week of Mandalas

I taught a completely new vinyasa yoga sequence to my classes this week after a revitalizing training immersion with Shiva last week. The classes I taught had some typical Roxy-style components, but I mostly went off the reservation and shook things up. I taught the class in a mandala, which means in a “circle”. We went from facing the front of the mat and switching legs, what Shiva calls “churn style”, to facing the side, and the back of the mat. Notice in the photo from my immersion our mats are in a circle as well as the practice taking us in a circle. It was definitely new, to me as well as my students, so the flow wasn’t quite as smooth as my typical class. The first time I taught it, without even noticing I went right into teaching Surya Namaskar A, which has been one of the backbones of my classes for the last 2 years. It’s so ingrained in my body and psyche that I just went right to it. I had to remind myself, “Hey. You’re trying to change things up here, girlie!” Have you ever done that when trying to learn something knew, just went right back to what you know because it’s there? I realized that not only do I have to practice, I have to practice a lot to really get it. I also just have to teach it a bit before I really get the class flowing and make it have that spark and connection that makes a yoga class truly awesome. I don’t think that means the classes suck either, many people said they enjoyed the classes. And what is the hurry anyway?

It was interesting where I found resistance to the unknown. I found it in myself when I just defaulted to the past, what was easy, what was familiar. It was hard for me to really hold the space at times when I noticed some of my students giving me the “yoga stink eye.” You know, when you can clearly tell someone is NOT ENJOYING your class or their practice, they refuse to take it easy, take their knees down, take the “easier” options, for whatever reason, and the look on their face, their body language, everything about them shows it. For the most part it’s just the life of doing something new and challenging and as a teacher I am mostly ok with it. Sometimes I notice myself responding or adjusting the class without meaning to. I have to be ok with people not liking me while I’m making them sweat their asses off. It’s part of the job.

Some of my student friends resisted it with the yoga stink eye, some over-thought about it and confused themselves, but overall I would say it was a good time indeed. I think next week I will spend a little more time in the postures the first time through and make it clearer what good alignment is in each posture. Thank you my yogi friends for letting me take you on a roller coaster ride.

I am going to try to start documenting what I teach on a weekly basis. If you really like what I teach, or are looking for some (home practice) inspiration, look no further. This is my first week so bear with me if you don’t like the way I wrote it up. If you have questions, feedback, suggestions, let me know. I also made a few sequence templates similar to the ones Shiva uses for sharing sequences during her trainings

A Mandala Namaskar Prep Sequence

The following two templates are saved as web pages so you should easily be able to print them and get a blank template to use to write up future sequences for practicing or teaching.
A Printable Sequence Template (w/ 2 waves, 1 page)
A Printable Sequence Templace (w/ 3 waves, 2 pages)

Once you open the following Google doc, you can go to File > Upload to upload it to your own Google docs to edit, or File > Download As so you can save it in another electronic format you can work with.
An Editable Sequence Template

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