Music, Yoga

Finding My Voice

My practicum is on Sunday, March 17th. Early yesterday morning,  I wrote Laurie a frantic e-mail, asking a half dozen questions about the sequence she assigned to me, then spent the better part of the day worrying because she hadn’t yet responded.  Her response, when it finally arrived, some 28 hours later?

You are so funny, Keisha. You are definitely over-thinking this.
The seated twist in the manual is fine, just remember to mirror the cues. You
can keep it simple for getting out of ankle to knee and your transition from
vira[bhadrasana] I into triangle forward bend is perfection.

You have this down. You will ace the practicum, I have NO doubt.
Xo

Perhaps I am over-thinking this. In fact, I know I am. But now that I have the answers to my questions, I can focus on the fun stuff– the MUSIC.

I feel like I don’t know anyone who isn’t a music-lover. We may not all  like the same kind of music, but most of us love the way music makes us feel. When Laurie told us we could play music during the practicum if we wanted, I immediately became excited. What would I play???  I came up with a brief playlist– the sequence is only 30 minutes long– and it includes songs by DJ Drez, Fela Kuti, Bonobo, Nosaj Thing, Liquideep, and J Dilla.

When it came to Dilla, I chose “So Far to Go,” but I was torn… I didn’t know if I should use the original, instrumental version, or the version with Common rhyming and D’Angelo’s vocals?  I happen to love the second version, and there’s nothing vulgar about it– it’s pretty much a love song.  But I was hesitant. Some people just don’t like rap.  I didn’t want to play anything that would offend anyone.

Then I remembered this recent post by my favorite Twitter yogini, Jessica Lesley.

Part of yoga is finding your truth and trusting your own voice. Finding my voice as a teacher meant letting go of what I think a yoga teacher is “supposed” to be. For me that means making sure the person leading the class is the same person that you run into at the grocery store. I don’t whisper in my normal conversations, so I do not whisper when I teach (no breathy “innnhaaale now exhhaaale” either). If you get in my car you won’t hear chanting or sitar music (well maybe once in a while), so I don’t really play that in my classes. I refuse to feel like I’m leading a double life.

So, I’d say that about clears it up, no?

I listen to rap. I also listen to a ton of soca– I thought about adding it to the list but I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t too uptempo– and all sorts of random electronic dance music, jazz, bossa nova, Haitian zouk and konpa, reggaeton, some dancehall, and let’s not forget that I love me some Beyonce and Rihanna.  I’m fairly certain that songs of all these genres will find their way into my classes. And let’s be real. If you’re focused on the music playing, then you’re really not paying attention to what you should be doing– which is practicing yoga!

Guys…I’m so nervous I could scream!

p.s. I know I’m about eight hours late with this post. My bad. I usually write my posts the weekend before and schedule them to publish at 1 pm the following Tuesday. But last weekend I was studying for and taking my YTT final exam (which I’m pretty sure I knocked out of the park, BTW), so it just didn’t happen. And last night I started removing  my Senegalese twists because I want my hair to be wild and free during the practicum. Forgive me!

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