I've taught yoga for many years at this point, and after having my own studio and teaching multiple classes each day, I've logged quite a plethora of hours. It's only been recently, however that I started teaching with Henry. I taught with him at my studio a few times, both in class and in privates, when he was a newborn, but that was different (1) because he was a newborn, and (2) because it was my regular clients. They already knew and loved me so they accepted Henry and as my teaching assistant with open arms.
Now, as an eight month old with more mobility, more waking hours, and lots more antics, Henry is a more noticeable side kick. Teaching a Baby and Me class with him is one thing, but we also teach a Restorative class together. We've taught five Restorative classes together and he's gotten better each time. Or has he?
I started thinking about that after my last class. Has Henry changed or have I? Maybe both. After all, I believe that he feeds off of my energy. He feels what I put out and responds accordingly. The first class was a nightmare (or so I thought at the time). He was unruly and he bit me hard when I tried to breastfeed him to quiet him (my fault, I know). This last class, he was perfect. I sat there so proud that he was my son. I watched him maneuver around, watch me, entertain himself, watch the class, and just be. He's learned to sit in the quiet room and be the most yogic one there. It's incredible.
In this short time he's taught me so much about teaching. My set up looks so different. Next to my mat I have a yoga blanket under one of his blankets. On top of his blanket are some toys. Sometimes I hold him, sometimes he's on my mat, sometimes he's on his blanket, sometimes I'm on his blanket. Sometimes he plays by himself, sometimes he wants me to hold him, sometimes we breastfeed, and sometimes he crawls on me as I demonstrate a pose. He's taught me to be more present. He's taught me how to communicate through silence (after all, I have to keep him calm, happy, and entertained without sound). He's taught me to let go of this image of what a class should look like and to let go of this fear of being judged. He's taught me to be more flexible and laid back. He's taught me to accept whatever happens as it comes. He's made me a better teacher and a better yogi and he's only eight months old.