I've trained some fairly awesome yoga classes. And, I've trained some really bad ones. Lately, I've been asking myself what exactly that is. It's disconnection.
In the best classes I educate, I kicked felling grounded and connected to the people who were with me. I shared tips and things of myself that were really and important for the moment. There was closeness and joy.
In the bad classes, I try too hard. I try to change the approach (literally) and impress the public. In those classes, I'm totally in my head. We can not be in our heads and with others at once. Period.
If you sometimes feel disconnected while you are teaching, good news! You're in your head. And because we know that, we can do something about it.
If your head is like most heads, it can get loud in there. Also like most people, what seems real in our heads basically is not the situation out here, with the rest of us. Now here are some techniques of the business to get you back out, where everything is perfect, and the connection is yours.
Touch someone. You're a yoga instructor and that means you can touch people without it being strange (except, of course, you're strange. Like placing your hand on a hot stove. That'll be the snazzy jerk you back to the present. Except this is much more enjoyable and powerful.
Stop talking. I've found if I'm talking a lot in class, its good news I'm in my head and trying too hard. If I'm in my head / trying too hard, I'm not being with the people who are attending my class. I'm not seeing them because I'm thinking of the next cool thing to say. Now I know it time to be silent and listen.
Stand in one place and teach. There is a connection between my trying too hard or feeling disconnected and my walking from one place to another. When I find myself moving through the place without any purpose, I make myself stay at one place and educate. Close to people. It can be uncomfortable. On the other part of the preliminary discomfort, though, is freedom. Soon, what I'm saying has an intention based on my looking at my learners. Because I'm more connected to the floor, learners feel more connection with me.
Remember it's not about you. I can not tell you how liberating this is. The classes that feel the heaviest / disconnected are the ones where I'm thinking it all about me. I'm trying to “wow” my students so that they will tell them great-grandmothers about what a wonderful yoga instructor I am. When I say to myself, “My breathing flows, and I'm up to something bigger and better.