On my first day back at the studio after spending 3 weeks in beautiful Costa Rica, I had planned to simply observe my first class assisting as part of Nandi’s Intern Program (I had missed the most recent intern meeting and was not quite sure what to expect). However, as soon as Deeb Qobti greeted me, he said, “ok you’re going to teach a 10 minute sequence today!” I remember gazing at him in shock and feeling the anxiety and fear creeping up my spine, as I clearly had not prepared for that. A large part of me wanted to say no thanks, but the fact that he was confident in me and was offering me this incredible opportunity right off the bat convinced me otherwise. Plus, I wanted to prove to him (and to myself) that I was up for the challenge! So, I taught a sequence that we developed right before class, and even though I was nervous, I did pretty well, although I did forget a pose on one side. Being a self-critical perfectionist, I expressed to Deeb after class that I probably could have done better. His response to me is something I will never forget, “it’s not about the poses; it’s about your energy and the smile on your face that makes you a great teacher.” Immediately, the self-deprecating voice in my head dissipated. Those words were exactly what I needed to hear, and they epitomize why Deeb has been such a wonderful mentor to me. He constantly reminds me why I decided to become a yoga teacher in the first place.
Nandi’s Intern Program has taught me the importance of being a nurturing, attentive, and supportive yoga teacher through hands-on assists. Deeb’s approach, in particular, is about breathing and flowing in unison with the students. It is about sharing the energy between teacher and student, using our touch to guide our connective energy through the fascia and the body’s energy channels. And of course, it is also about making the student feel good. When Deeb adjusts a student, he instructs me to observe and then mimic his movements on another student nearby. While I still don’t feel 100% confident giving students deep adjustments, I have definitely become more comfortable in my abilities because of Deeb’s style and encouragement.
Since my first class, Deeb has given me numerous opportunities to co-teach his sequences as well as teach some of my own. Not only has this made me more confident in my own voice, it has also enhanced my skills (particularly in sequencing) as a yoga teacher. My knowledge about the body’s anatomy and how to properly adjust students has also expanded, particularly because Deeb incorporates a lot of unique, fluid, and energizing poses and movements, not just your run of the mill asanas.
Every week I look forward to learning something new from Deeb. Whether it’s a new pose or a new adjustment, I always leave class feeling inspired and more confident in my teaching capabilities. This mentorship experience has already taught me so much about what it means to be an effective and authentic yoga teacher, and I am truly grateful to have such a supportive and inspiring teacher like Deeb as my mentor.
About Deeb Qobti
Deeb began his yoga journey in 2008 after working as a contractor for over 20 years and hurting his back. He completed his Sri Yoga teacher training under the tutelage of Jean Mazzei and Brenna Geehan in 2011 and a six month internship at Nandi Yoga in 2012 which helped him further refine his teaching. Deeb has studied Tantra with Rajmani Tigunait and other styles at Nandi Yoga including Jivamukti and Ashtanga Vinyasa. Deeb believes if you change the mind, the body follows and if you change the body, the mind follows and integrates this approach of Krama Yoga (Yoga of Action) in every one of his classes.
Check-out Deeb’s full class schedule, and click here to sign-up!
– Celeste Wong, Mentee at Nandi Yoga’s Intern Program