Wednesday, September 27, 2006

They Actually Pay Me for This

By Annette Dashofy

Teaching yoga doesn’t really pay a lot. If you want to make money at it, you need to present workshops. The first workshop I ever taught was on arm balances. What's an arm balance you ask? Click here to see one. Yes, I can do that. I can even do this.

I worked for months leading up to it, practicing and planning and changing the plan. Then on the day of the workshop, I had to demonstrate each balance. Again and again.

Way too much like work.

Next month, I’m teaching workshop on Restorative Yoga. Ahhh. Now we’re talking. In Restorative Yoga I basically prop everyone up on bolsters and blankets, cover their eyes and leave them there for twenty minutes or so to release into the supports and let all the tension drain out of them. I don’t even call it a “work” shop. I call it an Afternoon of Restorative Yoga.

Of course, to earn my money, I must be prepared. I must practice. Day after day after day. I must try out each pose and find the absolute best position and the best props to support my students in that position. This means lots of time spent in each pose. Tsk, tsk. Don’t you feel sorry for me?

I do love Restorative Yoga. Like everyone else, I’d gotten too busy with life to take care of myself lately. Then weekend before last, Judith Lasater came to town. I’ve studied with Judith several times before and we’ve become friends, so a workshop with her is a treat on so many levels. But not the least of it is the Restorative poses. She literally wrote the book on the topic. This year as in past years, at one point, she looked at me asked, “May I set you up in this pose?” What am I going to say? No? Are you nuts? Heck, yes, puleeeese set me up. I put myself in the master’s hands and surrender.

That is what I want to pass on to my students next month when I present my Autumn Afternoon of Restorative Yoga. I want them to feel pampered. I want them to feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

I want them to walk up and down the hall a few times before they get in their cars when it’s over. There’s this thing I call Yoga-Mush-Brain. Feels great, but it’s not good for driving skills.

So for the next few weeks, I’ll be perfecting my presentation of Restorative Yoga. Practice makes perfect.

I love my job.


Joyce said...

Hey, where is everybody today?

Annette, your upcoming class sounds wonderful. I could probably use something like that before I end up choking someone at work! :-)

Meryl Neiman said...

Holy shit. I just can't get over the fact that you can do that arm balance thing. You've got to do a demo at our next meeting!

Annette said...

Yeah, I really can do it. I get funny looks when asked to demo it in public, though. I get even funnier looks from my students when I try to teach it.

Yeah, where is everyone? I'm getting a complex here!!!

Judith said...

Hi Annette: I just got back from interviewing Bob Sendall who makes chocolate called Toffee Taboo. It reminds me of doing Yoga because it creates both a buzz and real relaxation. However I don't think it will help me do that arm balance thing. I want to see you do it on Sunday. Maybe I'll feed you chocolate while you do it and see what happens other than choking because your stomach is contorted. Never mind the chocolate.!!!! Don't want you to choke. I'll just eat it myself while marveling at your ability. :)

Annette said...

Judith, how about feeding me the chocolate after I've collapsed on the floor following the demo? I said I could do it. I didn't say it would be particularly graceful.

I can see it now. I'll be carrying a sign that says "Will do tricks for chocolate."

Kristine said...

Whoa, Annette! I am impressed! I had enough trouble with shoulder stands in yoga class. I can't imagine being able to do the arm balance poses. YIKES!

I took a restorative class last winter and loved it. It's my favorite part of yoga.

Nancy said...

Annette, I am in awe. You look like such an unassuming lady, yet you are a tigress!

And Judith, my mouth is watering. I had Toffee Taboo at Christmas and ADORED IT. But now I can't find it anywhere!

Cathy said...

Soon you'll be moving to Nepal and writing murder mysteries about yogis and sherpas and international climbers (all on horseback) in the Himalayas as you breathe at one respiration per minute (and eat chocolate at the same time).

What time will you be demonstrating the arm thing? Don't want to miss it.

Annette said...

I'm thinking I should wear a dress Sunday so I'll have an excuse to stay right side up!

Cathy, I'm not sure of a time. Somewhere between having enough wine to get up the nerve and having too much wine to accomplish the balance. But if you miss it, there will be no repeats.

Someone better bring a camera.