Updated: Jan 13, 2019
Spending my first Christmas at home in 3 years was of course extremely blissful. However, I have to admit I was quite looking forward to my 3 month trip to South America. Avoiding harsh English winter weather is all too familiar for me, so taking off in January with a strict budget and a teaching plan in mind was my next bright idea. Luckily I was staying with my Chilena amiga whom I met the year before along the Amazon River, this always helps with saving money as accommodation is usually a financial sting. Claudia luckily had connections at the University of Conceptión (she offers couch surfing for anyone passing through). So as easy as that, I landed a month teaching students on the sunny campus of Concepción, Chile.
We advertised the classes through Facebook, written flyers and the event was broadcasted through a local news channel. I taught 4 times a week and gained a number of regular students who I could see enjoyed the classes as they became friends. I was more nervous than my previous teachings as my Spanish is less than average, so to make my life a little easier Claudia nicely volunteered to be my assistant and translator throughout. Claudia has been practicing yoga for a number of years and is actually interested in taking her discipline further into teaching. The class attracted a variety of students, mature, young, first-timers and advanced. So my skills as an instructor were being put to the test.
Because of the help and support I was given in this time I really focused on adjusting my students postures. Making slight alterations changed their alignment completely, allowing them to reap the benefits from each asana. Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward facing dog), being one of my favourites to modify as everyones stance is so different and it is satisfying to see when practiced correctly.
I could notice my Spanish was improving along with my style of teaching. I was blessed to be instructing yoga in such a beautiful country and challenging myself with the methods I had to use. I took care in which vocabulary I was using to describe each body part, movement and direction.
My friend from Chile is so connected she even arranged for me to be on the evening news, I was given a slot on a local channel promoting my classes to the area.
The classes consisted of a strong Vinyasa flow and concentrated on breath per movement. Integrating the Pranayama in the beginning stages meant that as the pace of the class grew faster throughout the month, the quality of their practice remained high. I was overwhelmed to see everyones ability, awareness and confidence grow as the sequences slightly evolved.
Watching their development and what we had accomplished in a short amount of time made me eager to settle and teach in one spot for a prolonged period of time. I can't wait to take others through their practice regularly so I can witness and guide them through their progress.