I have been a yoga teacher for over 10 years and have somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 teaching hours under my belt. That being said I've taught exactly 10 Postnatal Yoga classes, the first two while super pregnant in 2010 which hardly counts. At the beginning of the year I decided to add a weekly Postnatal class to my studio schedule & put myself on the line to teach it.
I joked at the time I was a good person for the job because I could carry my voice over the babies (who are welcome in class) and drill core work into each class. But in reality those first few classes were an intense mess. I tried to mirror the postnatal teachers I'd learned from who all are surely more nurturing and gentle than me. I tried to incorporate the baby in centering with massage, in poses as weights and in savasana as a period to relax together. None of this worked very well. It was inauthentic and not my best teaching by a long shot.
But in the last two classes I've honed in on a class that I think does work for me the teacher, mom the student, and baby the observer. I keep my voice soothing, the lights dim, the babies peacefully alone on their blankets and the moms working hard with strength and stretch.
And now I've asked the moms for feedback. I sent an email to the women that have attended class at some point since January and asked them to tell me what they liked and didn't like about the class. With yoga and with teaching I am reminded every day to stay humble, to learn from your experiences and to grow your knowledge to keep offering the very best you can do…because that's all you can do.