On April 22, 2017, I had one of the most memorable teaching experiences of my career. I taught yoga to our hometown baseball team’s mascot.
Rally, the mascot of the St. Joseph Mustangs, is a mustang, of course. As is customary with all mascots, he walks around, high fives kids, and helps keep the crowd happy. Basically, he’s a mute party synergist.
Our local baseball team is incredibly involved in our community. Even when baseball is not in season, they seem to participate in community events. I don’t know why I was surprised to see them at our local health fair that day, but I was.
Even more surprising, though, was when Rally attended my 10 minute yoga class.
Teaching Yoga to a Mascot
At first, when I started setting up to teach my class, there was only a 6-year-old girl. Her grandmother and a friend sat off to the side. They assured me they were not interested in yoga.
Since it was just the two of us, the girl and I talked for about 7 minutes. Then, right before class started, she completely lost interest and left with her entourage. Her vacant spot was quickly filled by another woman named Sarah, who I had already talk to earlier.
I was excited to get to spend this extra time with Sarah, and so I thought of the best possible poses for her and her tight hamstrings. We started grounding. Only about a minute into our grounding, Rally walked in and unrolled a mat.
“Are you doing class?” I asked.
His very large foam head nodded up and down.
Immediately, my plans for our 10 minutes went in the trash. I had to eliminate the standing forward folds that I had planned and make up a Plan B on the spot. Instead, we did Tadasana, Crescent lunge, Warrior 1, and Warrior 2–all from standing, of course.
Once, Rally looked down to try to check his alignment. I thought his head was going to take him down. “You follow my directions, and I’ll tell you what needs to move.”
Our mini-class went quite smoothly after that. Both students listened to and followed my verbal cues. They both did a great job, but I thought the mascot was particularly impressive. Some exhausted guy or girl was practicing yoga while dressed in a hot, heavy costume. Even though the individual had to be tired, he/she did his/her best to move with poise and flow through the class. Good job, Rally, I thought.
Then, I mentally patted myself on the back for not laughing out loud during class.
Thank you so much for reading. If you find my information valuable, please consider supporting this website. With your support, I can gather and share more wonderful information on health, wellness, and happiness.
Have you ever taught a particularly unique student? Let us know your story in the comments below.