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.
Teach to Your Audience–A Baseball 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.
Have you ever taught a particularly unique student? Let us know your story in the comments below.
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