Are you sick of yourself yet? Me, too. Not only am I getting a lot of enforced downtime to watch my brain and all its patterns, I’m using the shutdown to record fresh video lectures for my main online course, Teaching Yoga to Athletes.* This means I spend several hours a day literally watching myself.
On the positive side, this gives me incentive to wash my hair, put on lipstick, and use my brain a few days each week.
On the negative side, I spend most afternoons editing the video lectures, snipping out my flubs, inserting my slides, and generally watching myself and all my tics and habits. I’m trying to embrace this opportunity to observe my patterns and start to change the ones I’d like to.
If you teach yoga and have either made a recent pivot to video or have recorded content in the past, don’t just send it out to the world without a critical eye! Take the time to watch it yourself, and maybe even to follow along. This is easier than it was in pre–shutdown days, when getting a recording of yourself teaching seemed like a bigger hurdle.
Here are some steps that might help you refine your teaching and emerge more articulate, professional, and helpful to your students.
- Watch some or all of it to get your gut reaction out of the way. You’ll never be any younger in the future than you are in the video—someday you’ll look back at this more kindly. Yes, you sound like that. Yes, that might be a lot like your mother or father. If you need to cringe, get it over with.
- Now rewind, and watch with a friendly eye. What is already going really well? If the teacher you see on video were your best friend, what would you say to her—and how—about ways she could do even better? Often, this means looking for what you could leave out: too many hand gestures, filler words, constant chatter.
- Try following along with some or all of the recording to get a student’s sense of timing. You might be surprised at how your pacing feels when you aren’t leading but instead taking the class. Use the video’s scrub function to get an objective sense of your timing for asymmetrical poses. The timer won’t lie about whether you’re holding the second side long enough.
Here’s one of the first videos I made. From watching it, I learned to frame my shot a little differently, to plant my hands on the table, and to talk a little more slowly. I hope you learn lots from watching yourself!
If you’ve been considering taking this course, please do! As of today, I am 3/5 done with the updates, so anyone who starts now will have several extra hours’ worth of new content to enjoy. And of course, any previous course participants can access it as well. It all lives at sageyogateachertraining.com, alongside several other courses designed to help yoga teachers help students better.