At the end of October I will be heading to Toronto to participant, and hopefully pass my Intermediate Junior II Iyengar Assessemnt. Although I already am a Certified Iyengar Yoga Instructor in good standing the levels of training are steps towards improving our teaching and training and really our own self-study.
I spent most of August working on an exam and have been preparing this past year for this next assessment. Each assessment for me has been just as nerve wracking, and I waver between thinking I am ready and thinking I will not pass. But, whether I pass or not I need to proceed on this path as part of it is overcoming fear.
Some may feel this is excessive and too rigorous, but for me yoga is a discipline and I must be just as disciplined with my teaching as with my own personal practice. The way Mr. Iyengar has outlined this assessment process is to give the teachers time to be a student of yoga first and assimilate the work into themselves so they can really see each student and learn from each student.
This weekend I am heading back to Edmonton for a mock assessment. I will be under scrutiny...something to think about for the 7 hour drive :), but I must give so much thanks to the teachers and students who are giving up part of their weekend to help me on my path. There is so much support in the feedback I get that I am always grateful for the path I have landed. And of course a huge thank you to my friends and family who help me daily on this path - making sure my practice becomes just as strong off the mat as on it.
Assessments include a 2 hour practice on the first day where we are assessed for our own personal practice. The teaching section is 40 minutes in length. 40 minutes to teach 6 poses to students of many levels. To not just spew out everything we might know about a pose, but to teach to the students in the room. To sequence the 6 poses in the best possible way so that the students feel a connection of the first pose to the last. There is at least three assessors marking various aspects of your teaching, and a timer. We are asked questions about why we taught poses and certain way, how we would teach pranayama from how to set a student up to how to prepare them for the breath work. It is intense and rewarding when the ego is dropped and you remember the point is not the paper at the end but it is the value of how you get there.
So, if over the next month you notice me trying to work 6 poses into 40 minutes, you will know why. :)
The links below are what some others have written about the assessment process.
They have said it much better then I could anyway.
Below is links to a few Blogs written about the Iyengar assessment.
Wish me luck.