As this life continues to ebb and flow, the lessons we learn along the way are priceless…
I recently started teaching my very own slow flow class at Ballard Health Center on Monday nights and well so far pretty good. Here are a few confessions as a beginner awkward yoga teacher finding my voice and pushing the limits of my comfort zone to teach this beautiful practice to the world.
My first class I taught my lovely husband, who was such a good sport, because I was a total ball of nerves and it was definitely rough. This was my first time teaching him and comparison, shame, and perfectionism had a tight hold on my heart. He had taken one other yoga class in his life and I was sure that it was one million times better than mine. I was so Judge Judy. My voice was shaky and my hands were sweaty. I kept telling myself I know the poses, I know how to get people into them and I know how to use words, but the fear continued to choke me up. Grant is my biggest fan and I know that, but it didn’t matter at that moment. FEAR WAS PARALYZING and my amygdala was like flight, flight, flight, get out of there, you are not safe, why are you doing this, he’s hot you only want to impress him and this, this is not the way to do it. I took a couple of deep breathes and pushed through, there were plenty of mistakes and I spent most of the class just reading my sequence word for word. Once the class was over I felt this wonderful wash of gratitude and relief, here I was married to a man who supports and loves me enough to stay in downward dog way too long and not complain a peep. I needed him to be my first student and the universe knew it. I needed to get through it and realize that EVERYTHING WAS TOTALLY FINE. I also needed it for our marriage. I needed to know that he accepted me wherever I was in my journey as a yoga teacher and that he was in it with me. I had sort of hidden my teaching from him until this class, because I was insecure and embarrassed that I was not that great right away. This experience taught me that I am enough; I am deeply loved and lovable, despite my shaky voice, sweaty hands, and mess ups. Vulnerability is (slowly) starting to become my friend instead of my enemy and I am excited for all of the beautiful experiences that will continue to unfold.
My second class I taught a woman we can call D. She was super sweet as I stumbled over my intro and made sure she knew exactly what she was getting into. I messed up my sequence at least 5 times, but honestly she was genuinely just happy to be there and getting into her body again with a teacher that accepted her where she was. This class allowed me to feel more comfortable being one on one and fighting through the awkward moments, finding the words, making the connections. I will be forever grateful for her patience and openness to practice with me that night, her smile as she left is something I will never forget! Connection is everything, if you can get that, the stumbling isn’t an issue.
My third class no one showed up… This one I am still recovering from. I was not prepared and the Seahawks were playing, so I guess I should’ve known no one would make it. Still it was a blow to my ego and something I know I will have to be okay with.
My fourth class…. 7 STUDENTS SHOWED UP. That’s right, S E V E N. Two of my awesome coworkers brought a couple of friends and it was MAGIC. I was still feeling a little tender from the week before, so I decided to approach it a little differently and focus on the experience vs just the postures. I had been so wrapped up in the sequence, trying to make sure it was perfect and trying to memorize it, that I had missed the bigger picture, the experience. I began thinking about what I wanted people to take out of my class other than the postures. Rasa Yoga Training taught me how to theme and incorporate Mantra and Mudra, but something always held me back from sharing those teachings. It just didn’t feel authentic yet. I wanted to connect with my authentic voice and see just what I felt comfortable sharing at this point. I wanted people to feel relaxed, nourished, and rejuvenated. You know those classes where you basically just melt into bed and sleep better than you have in months afterwards? That was my intention and I wanted that to be clear in every part of the practice. I planned out my altar with fresh flowers, a table cloth from our wedding, a colorful warm rug, candles, cleansing sage, and my crystals which took the class to an entirely different level for the students and for me. The atmosphere and energy that was created in the studio space was just beautiful. Then I began my sequence, I thought about all of the postures that were so yummy and truly connected me with my body and made sure to include them all. It also was the Harvest Full Moon and the theme was centered in the change of seasons. I love moon magic, so I felt excited to share it with the students. I felt like an authentic yoga teacher for the first time. Huge moment.
The class ended up being a hit, there were a few hiccups, but overall I felt grounded and centered. I was meant to be there, sharing my gifts. My coworkers also shared that they felt awesome and slept SO good, which of course made me feel all gooey. Mission Accomplished. Baby steps… I am capable and I am doing this!
This journey of life ebbs and flows, there are so many opportunities for growth and expansion if you shift your attention and ask “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I be more open?” I am so thankful to be able share my voice through teaching yoga and this blog. I am also incredibly thankful for the curve balls life continues to throw, that teach me how to navigate this world with just a little bit more openness and faith in myself. Cheers to the little lessons this awesome universe offers each day. I choose to be vulnerable and push through the fear again and again.
Thank you for following along.