Many of the yogis I work with have been with me for some time now. I try not to refer to them as my students, because more often they are teaching me, and for that I am grateful.
I usually lead the Sun Salutation sequence during class, and I've been doing so for years. About a month ago, I asked my practicing yogis during class if they were comfortable doing their Sun Salutations on their own (but together as a group), as a moving meditation. I felt my voice during the sequence was more of a distraction than an instruction. I wanted them to experience how even while moving, we can find the calming stillness in our minds.
Sun Salutations are empowering and energizing. They demand us to be present mentally, physically, and spiritually. They prove we can be strong, confident, and independent yogis.
It took a few rounds, but soon we were all moving and breathing on our own, but together. It wasn't long until the atmosphere in the room became totally energized. I've always encouraged my fellow yogis to do the number of salutations best for them, so some of us did 3-4, and others 10-15. After each yogi finished their sequences, they would quietly fold into Child's Pose and rest until the others finished.
The results were amazing! The response was so positive, we've continued.
My goal is to encourage & nurture independent, confident yogis. I believe it's important for the yogis who attend my classes to learn they can do yoga on their own. Their yoga is, after all, their practice. No two yogis are alike. We're all different. We move and breathe differently and we have unique and / or specific needs.
Of course, I adore instructing and practicing with fellow yoga folks, but I also love that the yogis who attend Be the Tree Yoga come to understand this is their own personal journey.