60:75:90: What To Teach, What To Leave Out

More notes from a new teacher.  So because I’m doing a lot of sub work, I’m teaching various formats.  One of the variables is time: 60 minute class, 75 minute class, 90 minute class.  Continuing with my theme of adapting to the class that’s in front of me, here’s my thoughts on time formats.

60 minutes.  This is a quick hitter, more like a fitness class.  Not a lot of breathing and centering at the beginning.  Definitely no time for dharma talk.  The class is mostly standing poses, vinyasa moves.  No time to workshop handstands for ten minutes.  I usually do 2, 3 attempts at Bakasana/crow pose then move on.  I leave about ten minutes for floor work – some core, Dhanurasana/bow pose.  Short savasana.

75 minutes.  For me, this is the optimal class time.  It’s “a little over an hour” which most people can manage.  Now I can get into some breathing at the start of class, maybe a short dharma talk or reading if I’m in the mood.  Do a good, solid 40 minute vinyasa set, go upside down for ten minutes and work more closely with yogis during that time.  Hit the floor and do supine backbends and bridge / upward bow.  Take time to do some solid seated forward folds, a twist or two, then lay back for some more twists.  Decent savasana.

90 minutes.  This is a lot of time to do a yoga set.  I can get the yogis really warmed up with five minutes of just sun salutations, work on form with some more difficult poses to hit, e.g. Virabhadrasana I (work on setting the feet, pull the hips and shoulders forward, etc.).  Workshop any poses that I see are giving the yogis trouble.  Do a solid five urdhva dhanurasana in addition to other backbends.  Take my time working seated forward folds which, let’s be honest here, the world needs more of.  Finally, put in a “finishing series” like sequence with shoulder stand, plow, whatever else fits.

Teach the class that’s in front of me.  That’s probably the main thing I’ve learned out in the field so far.

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