Last night I had the opportunity to observe an intro class taught by an amazing instructor. This particular class was a great class to observe since for most of the students this was their 1st or 2nd yoga class ever - they truly needed to be "introduced to yoga".
I had many ah ha moments during the class and then contemplating after the class. One that sticks out to me is allowing each person to have their own experience.
In our society we typically look at someones figure and make assumptions about their health, fitness level, etc.. based on their figure. Someone is tall and thin - they must be healthy and fit. Someone is short and round - they are not. Someone is young - they must be flexible. And so on. As I observed this class I could see 9 completely unique bodies with their own special qualities. Each person was unique and in many cases was very different than societal conventions would have said.
A beautiful very tall thin young woman who could barely reach the blocks, let alone the floor and had little, if any body awareness. A mid 40's woman who was shorter and rounder yet her hands could touch the floor completely and eased into down dog and parsvokanasana with grace. As I observed I had to consciously remind myself that each person is their own person, in their own moment and having their own experience. They are not to be judged or compared against each other or a standard that I may have created in my own mind.
Through out conversations about how to teach a intro or basic class there is a re-occurring theme that as the teacher you need to be aware of each person's capabilities/limitations and take the seat with an open mind instead of trying to "fix them". You need to allow them to have THEIR experience. During this class I observed this teacher truly have an open mind and not try to "fix them". She emphasized trying to create a pulsation and allowed them to each have their own unique experience.