The Joy of Teaching

lotusThe last couple of classes have been extremely rewarding to teach.  On Monday one student, I’ll call her A., came up to me after class to say that she had held chaturanga dandasana for the full 40 seconds through each half of our surya namaskara.  As a quick explanation, to begin each class I run through two complete sequences of surya namaskara:  The first time we simply move through each posture following our breath and so we move fairly quickly.  After this, we repeat the sequence and hold each pose for 40 seconds.  A. has been coming to class almost since the first class I taught at the center and she was just thrilled to be able to hold that pose.  What a great moment to share!

Last night, as we finished class T., another regular, came up to me and said that she has suffered from lower back issues and pain for quite some time.  Since coming to class, however, her back has loosened and stopped hurting.  She brought this up because I had said that while in svasana the lower back may begin to ache; to alleviate the ache simply bend the knees and put the feet flat on the floor.  The other bit of goodness came when another student, K., apologized for stopping and lying flat on the floor toward the end of class.  It turned out that her foot was cramping severly in the arch.  Toe cramps can be painful but a full foot cramp is absolutely horrid.  Ironically, the very things that cause feet to cramp tend to be the very things that one should to do prevent cramping.  Virasana frequently causes cramps in the feet and yet it is also a great pose for strengthening the arches.  Another paradox, strengthening the arches will help prevent cramping but it will also increase the severity of the pain when cramps do occur.