“Migi–right, Hidari–left, Sute–Inhale, Haitte–Exhale”… As the training winds down to its final weekend, I thought I would describe the elaborate system we devised for processing the homework. In addition, to communicating through a live translator, we had to take things a step further. A big component of the Yogaworks Teacher Training is the homework–written essays, sequences and reading assignments. I was told that there wouldn’t be anyone to translate the homework and many of the other teachers had the students do this as a class assignment. However, I remember how much I gained from receiving personal feedback on these assignments and felt that I had to figure out a way to give these students the same. One teacher who previously taught one of these trainings, Eka Ekong, said that she pasted the assignments into Google Translator—it took a lot of time but at least she could tell what the students where doing. The translation is awkward and fragmented and sometimes not an accurate description of what someone is saying, but at least you know get an understanding of what is said and if the student is getting the assignments. The first time I did this it was a humongous undertaking, twenty-eight teaching scripts written in Japanese flooded my inbox and I tediously cut and past each one into Google Translator and sent them back. Finally, I had them translate their assignments through Google translator paste it into the document under their Japanese version, and send it to me. I would then read and type responses in red in the document and then send it back to them. This takes a long time and I spent most of my free time during the week keeping up with this project. However, the pay off was beneficial, I was able to offer advice and most of all, it really helped me to remember their names.
Sample of teaching script:
Now goes into Trikonasana pose. Use two of the block.
Hands and feet spread out, please make sure that the bottom of the wrist and ankles. Place one block behind the heel.
90 degrees outside right foot, left foot 45 degrees toward the inside. Make sure that it is on the line with the heel of the right foot first Sat of the left foot Fu. Stepping firmly on the ground in the four corners of the foot, let’s start focusing on the thighs. The shoulder is relaxed with open arms. Both sides of the upper body while stretching breath, and pivot to the right the upper body while exhaling. Right hand on top of the block, left hand is straight up towards the ceiling.
Segment of Sequencing Assignment:
Savasana (Block under the head and thoracic)
Setu Bandhasana (in conjunction with breathing / Sandwich the block in thighs)
Eka Pada Apanasana
Table Top Pose
Extended Child Pose
(Step Forward) Uttanasana→Tadasana
Surya NamasukarC (Plank/AMS)×2
Everyone took their final exam today and a couple had the option of looking at an english version. I marvel at the ability we all had to communicate such complex topics, learn a common language–Sanskirt, and flourish over the past 11 weeks.
I’ve also included additional images of students who weren’t included the photo essay from “The Teacher Training: Weeks 5 & 6.”
Romy I love seeing these pictures of your students practicing! You have so much knowledge and such passion for yoga! it shows with your students. We missed you and can’t wait to have you back at Yogaworks South Bay teaching and hearing about your teaching experience in Japan.
Thank you Sabina! We just completed our final weekend and celebration with lots of tears–it’s very hard to leave Tokyo–I was really embraced here by everyone and will miss them dearly. Lots of stories to tell and I still have more pictures to share. I missed all of you at South Bay and I can’t wait to see you again!