When the muse stops talking: how to teach when inspiration doesn’t strike
“Last Wed I feel like I taught the WORST yoga class of my life: it was so vanilla, last minute sequencing on my feet (which sometimes I’m good at, but this time I lost the muse), and I felt like I kept saying the same damn thing over and over- just uninspired. I think I need a workshop or something to inspire me again, but saving my pennies. I guess I was wondering if you’ve ever felt that way and/or how you deal with it. I need some stimulation!”
Girl, we have all been there. Who hasn’t taught the occasional class that feels repetitive or uninspired?
I’ve always found that the solution lies in my own practice. Usually when I teach a cringe worthy class (at least that’s the way it feels), the root of the problem is my own lack of connection; I don’t feel like I have anything to share authentically from myself. Investing time to practice and prepare holds the antidote – and doesn’t require spending money on a workshop. Everyone gets jazzed differently through their yoga teaching: some people find their soul connection through theming, others through sequencing, others through music.
If your muse doesn’t show up, here’s some tips to help hunt her down.
- Give yourself an hour to just play physically – not even to do a “yoga practice” per se, but sure, start there and see where it takes you. Then take whatever you discover as an inspirations to share in your class
- Take 20 minutes to journal on the message you want to share with the world. What lessons have been hard for you? What is a tool that you use when you come up against this challenge? Is there a way that you can share this tool through a physical yoga practice?
- Open up your favorite inspirational books. Theme a class around your favorite quote.
- Prepare a sequence to a kick ass, fun peak pose. Be creative about how you get there.
- Give yourself an hour to create an awesome music mix (of stuff that you like), then create a dynamic class to go with it.
- Get back to what YOU need from your yoga practice, then share that gift with your students. Forget all the rote blah blah – speak truthfully from exactly where you are and see where that takes you.
- And if exactly where you are is in the duldrums, then investigate what tools you can use to move beyond that (not just in yoga, but in life) and share those tools in the practice (like playfulness, or community, or non-judgment). Then everybody wins.
- And…if all else fails…plan some accessible partner work. That makes almost any class fun. The community energy will feed itself.