Since I became a full-time yoga teacher, I’ve been wondering how many classes is too many classes. What was the number that would cause a system malfunction, and what parts would fail first. March answered that question for me: seventy-seven classes is too many. My body gave up as the month was ending, and those pieces of that require regular maintenance to be able to chaturanga my days aways went to into rowdy protest. My shoulders seized and ached without their usual routine of CARs and RAILs/PAILs. I was tired, but too adrenhalized to sleep well at night, feeling anxious about keeping all my plans and class sequences in order.
I think if I wasn’t so peripatetic, nineteen classes a week might not be so exhausting. But crossing over the river, spending hours on buses and (very delayed and janky-assed) trains, and pounding miles of sidewalks to teach at four or five different locations per day is… well, it’s bonkers. And exhausting. I have aspirations of consolidating my weekly schedule geographically and temporally over the remainder of this calendar year, but part of me believes I will always need to be chasing the gigs that pay the best, wherever and whenever they are offered to me.
My densely packed calendar did allow me to test how much I could reduce demonstrating during class. For some populations, of longtime and regular practitioners, almost no demonstration is needed. Students know how to create the shapes in their bodies by name, or have learned my particular shorthand for a transition sequence. [I remember Daniel Max saying we, as teachers, write our own sutras over time―small, concise phrases to convey larger concepts or directions.]
In some ways, March forced me to to trust what my head already knew: I cannot do the yoga for anyone else; no one is here to watch me perform.* I hope to practice doing less with my body as a teacher, so that I can give and receive more with my spirit.
*This might be a topic for another post, but there are still certain men who show up to my classes who DO think my role is to perform a movement practice for their viewing benefit. I do not like these men.
March, my record-breaking month by the numbers:
- 77 classes (up 28% from February)
- 83.5 hours of teaching time
- 827 students in attendance (up 25% from February)
- 10 locations
JP Centre Yoga is really making their 10th anniversary year something special. Daniel and Sejal have renovated an additional space on their floor and Studio 3 is now open for business and will be the home for select classes and private sessions and trainings. A batch of new classes also hit the schedule in April and May, including a new Heated Flow with me. Find me teaching on Saturdays, 4:15-5:30p in Studio 2.
View my complete weekly schedule for more details.
Join me on Saturday, April 22 for Arm Balancing Foundations. Hosted by MOTA, this two hour workshop is open to all levels of practitioners and will include learning, demonstration, and individual practice time. We’ll take a review of body mechanics, work through lots of warmups for wrists and core and shoulders. I will offer personal feedback and hands-on support to those who would like to receive it. Would love to see you there!
And here are a selection of sweet comments and funny feedback from students and peers, received or overheard:
- My whole body hurts, but I’m still feeling so cozy about getting to do an in-person class with you.
- You tenderized my ass! [re: Tender Tuesday] Put that up on Instagram.
- Thank you as always for your brilliant teaching and expertise on moving around injuries!
- I’m simultaneously humbled and empowered by Midday Mobility. It’s a good thing my video is muted because of what I mutter under my breath.
- Midday Mobility is such a good supplement to regular yoga during the rest of the week! I’m a full body noodle.
- My back is usually pretty sensitive in deep backbends, but the extension/core warmups were gamechangers and made it so I could do most everything―and the pain from earlier in the week actually disappeared! Thank you! I continue to love your classes.
- Ooh, my hips burn so good.
- Literally have never heard a teacher call it “Adho Mukha” before.
- I feel like every part of me is engaged. It’s so easy to check out in some poses, but I can feel everything participating.
- You are so good. You’re our favorite teacher, I always say that.
- You’ve helped me build more awareness in my body and more stability.
- Thank you, I feel great, Jill!
- Your classes are so beautiful and so thoughtful and they always go by in a flash.
In collecting these March comments, I breathe a sigh of relief thinking that at least my teaching didn’t disinetegrate, even if my body crumbled.