English Major

In university, I graduated with a degree in English literature. I read a lot of books and wrote a lot about books. After I graduated, my first job was developing preschool literacy programs in Madison, Wisconsin. That lasted a year (that was the length of the service contract). Since then, I have often joked that I am another English major not using her degree.

Really though, I don't believe that's true.

There are so many yoga teachers I know who are also writers, actors, and performers in general. That makes sense; in front of the class, you are performing your lines with little or no rehearsal. You are also in the spotlight. The actual languaging of the class, the words I say and chose not to say, definitely tie into my English degree. Although, truth be told, while I have a theme, I usually make up the exact things I say on the spot (there is no question that this is obvious to my students; I am trying to be less of a constant talker).

More importantly, there is something in the asana and the sequence of the class that also ties into my degree. So, here, today's sequence from the P.OV. of an English major who uses her degree multiple times every day.

My Yoga Class, An Essay
by Emma Gabrielle Silverman

1. Introduction, I: in a moment of stillness, begin the focus on breath (a theme that always ties through the rest of class). Introduce any other mental themes (dedicating the class, self-focus, etc.)
2. Introduction, II: Still in the intro paragraph, begin to introduce the asana theme for today's class. Hips? Maybe some gentle supine hip stretches synchronized to breath. A funky class sequence? Maybe a really gentle version of it on the back or the knees, which you can offer as a modification for a later, hyped up version. For example, knee to nose in table top as warm up to knee to nose from Downward Dog. Or Gate Pose with upper arms drawing circles as warm up to side plank with upper arms drawing circles.
3. Paragraph one/Sun salutations: The same exposition you would use for any paper. Let's the reader or class taker know the sources and where they can go to for more information.
4. Body (of the essay) I: Begin with a basic version of the class theme, three to five movements in a row, with vinyasas to remind theme of the intro
5. Body II: New poses, under the same theme, three to five poses, going deeper into topic, with vinyasas
6.  Body III: You're warmed up now, you know what we're talking about. Bring the whole essay together in this last paragraph to really draw home the point. Put the two first body paragraphs together to a sequence of six to 10 postures (repeats), ending with a peak pose (proving your thesis statement that was brought up in the intro, could be physical or mental).
7. Conclusion: Give some time for the point to sink in. Everything clicks. Gently remind students of why they are here, what they learned.

Class dismissed.

Popular Posts