Some SECRET Insights into our acroyoga teaching partnership...
This email is from Laura, and she has very elegantly put into words some insights into our teaching and training partnership, and a little update from our Acroyoga happenings in Bristol!
During our time in the UK, we went to Bristol to join an Acroyoga jam and class.
We had contact beforehand with the teachers Shell and Will and they were very welcoming when we arrived on a sunny afternoon in Queen’s Square park.
We had a fun jam getting to know fellow acroyogis, playing and sharing.
Later that evening Shell and Will taught a class and they invited us to join and share something; what a nice way to connect and collaborate!
Caspian’s sister joined the class too and it was fun to play with her the first half.
While observing the general level of the 13/15 students we decided to continue with a washing machine that used the sidestars we were practising in class; low barrel roll.
We really enjoyed teaching this great group of students and seeing how much fun they had.
It felt rewarding that they picked up the techniques and cues so well and that it made a difference in their practice.
After class we received some wonderful feedback on our teaching and partnership.
It felt nice to hear what they shared, because it reflects our connection and the conscious choices we are making in our partnership.
I felt inspired to share with you our approach, and how we’ve been putting in the time, effort and conscious choices to work on different aspects to create a thriving partnership.
We found some things really valuable for us so maybe they will be for you too!
Will wrote us a message saying that he finds us ‘an inspiring pair’ and Shell shared after class that it was empowering for her to see our balanced way of teaching.
In general, our training and teaching partnership is very much a reflection of the relationship we have together.
It shows when people see the connection, calibration, fluidity, in-sync feeling and way of communicating that we have.
What you don’t see though is our conversations before and after class.
These conversations can be hard, and challenging, but we choose to take the proper time to have them and give them our full attention.
This might be the key thing that is such a help and support for us; the willingness to make and take time to talk about how we feel and think about various aspects of teaching and training.
This is such a powerful tool to understand different views, get on the same page, gain more compassion, know common goals and desires, find solutions and so much more.
A balanced partnership
One aspect we’ve worked on is growing towards a balanced teaching partnership.
Caspian is a leader and teacher by heart and his default can be to take space to do so.
This is an amazing quality in itself that I highly support and cheer on, and at the same time it’s our choice of wanting a balanced teaching partnership.
So we’ve worked on alternating our talking, me speaking up and taking space and him giving me space to explain.
As I am a leader and teacher by heart as well and we find it working very well to find a balance in our inputs.
In the beginning this took some conscious effort and we had classes that felt less balanced and therefore not so great for both of us, but that’s all part of the process.
We’ve grown together and are now enjoying the benefits.
And because of the feedback of our students and other teachers we know that it shows.
The work we do in private shows in public.
The behind the scenes can look like long and deep conversations that can take energy and in moments feel like a lot of effort.
And it proves to be worth it because we both feel happier while co-teaching.
We believe communication is a big and beautiful aspect of Acroyoga.
To use positive, supportive and open communication can be so impactful and that’s why we aim to use this kind of communication and find ways to keep learning and improving.
What was key for us?
Practising awareness to truly listen with the aim to fully understand the other person.
We feel this skill is a true game changer.
The willingness to communicate, to reflect, to change and to show up in a way that aligns with the common goal and desire is all part of the conversations before and after class.
The reason why we have such a thriving relationship and partnership is because we see and appreciate the amazing connection we have and therefore we are willing to keep nourishing that.
Equal but not the same
Our view is that we are equal but not the same.
That’s why we shine in our uniqueness and want to function as a team and give each other space to share so that we feel that we equally contribute to the class.
Throughout the class we both share and lead and generally Caspian teaches the base’s role and I teach the flyer’s role.
Because of our connection, this goes naturally and easy when we alternate giving cues and tips.
It reflects when people see the unity in us.
For us Acroyoga is about trust. In a co-teaching partnership; how do you know you trust the other person's capabilities to lead and teach?
We feel like this is something that grew over time.
When you get to know the other person’s personality, teaching style and skillset better this develops trust in their actions and decision making.
We now have full trust in each other to lead and teach.
So even though we mostly prepare the structure of the class in advance; when one of us decides to change something on the spot we go with the flow and trust the other person’s decision.
In our opinion Acroyoga is about connection, and our connection is why we share this together and we want us both to thrive.
To cultivate a healthy, positive and strong connection we find it really helpful to do our best to acknowledge and praise the good by giving compliments and positive feedback.
We aim to share feedback in a supportive and constructive way while working on our foundation full of trust, love and respect in which there is a place to give and receive feedback and feel safe and supported.
I hope this gave you an insight into a massive part of our partnership; the hours of conversations we’ve had and how that helped us.
We find a partnership is a constant work in process and to make it thrive feels like magic!
Cheers to healthy, loving, strong, supportive, fun and in flow acroyoga partnerships!
All relationships, training- and teaching partnerships come in different forms and flavours and what works for one pair doesn’t work for another.
So while honouring the different styles and preferences, this is what works for us.
We’re curious to hear your thoughts and this topic and what makes your acroyoga training- or teaching partnership work for you!