Sometimes I catch myself mentally asking why things are happening to me. I wonder how on earth I got myself into such bizarre situations – situations, which warrant stress, strain and perpetual anxiety. I question how I could ever let certain circumstances manifest. I ponder relentlessly; how did I open myself to this?
Tonight is one of those nights. A night when I sit here and I think and I think and I think some more. And then my thinking frustrates me. And then I think about why my thinking frustrates me. And then I think about why I shouldn’t be thinking that my thinking frustrates me because all thoughts are meaningful. You get the picture right? Basically, my brain is a powerful whirlwind of inharmonious thoughts. Yup, tonight my mind is all higgledy-piggledy.
So, what do you do? What do you do when your head feels muddled and that disorientation paralyzes you?
Ok, I’ve got to be honest with you; I’m no expert. I haven’t discovered a black and white answer to this question despite relentless searching. To be even more honest, I don’t know anyone has. It’s kind of a ‘'build to suit’ thing where you’ve got to do the investigating and experimenting yourself. And even then, you may still be answerless. What I do know, however is that the process of searching is what’s important. The journey of curbing the kerbobbled mind is where you ought to start.
So, I’m starting the search. I’m in the very beginning stages of the process. I actually feel like I’m just only packing my bags to embark on this adventure. I’m working on thinning my pack; ensuring I only take the things I need. Deciding what those things are is proving more difficult than I originally anticipated. So, what have I got so far? I’ve got 10 things jammed into my rucksack that resonate with me – 10 things I feel I will without a doubt need on this trip. Perhaps (but aok if they don’t) they’ll be things you pack before you board the train of self-discovery.
At the time being, the concept of ever NOT thinking about what I’m thinking about seems distant and slightly inconceivable. But perhaps that’s part of the adventure – thinking that self-realization is so far away – thinking that my mind will forever be kerbobbled. Regardless, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen and whatever happens is supposed to happen. So I zip my backpack up, sling it over my shoulder and open the door. The door to where, I’m about to find out.
I've done it. I pushed the anxiety and fear aside and taught my first public yoga class, two now to be exact. I would be lying if I said I was completely comfortable and without nerves going into those classes. I would be lying if I said they were amazing and I didn't get a single left and right mixed up. I would be lying if I said I left the studio feeling content with how they went. The truth is that I was a fidgety ball of nerves, who got more than just my lefts and rights backwards and I questioned how the classes went for days post savasana. Hmm, not at all what I had planned. Despite hearing positive feedback, I couldn't help but revisit my sequencing, my meditations, my breathe and asana cues and I couldn't stop beating myself up for being too scared to physically adjust students. Can other new teachers relate to this experience? Does anyone know where I'm coming from?
Teaching yoga isn't easy. Truth be told, I went into my yoga teachers training thinking I knew something about yoga, about what it meant to teach yoga to others. If there was one thing I learned throughout my YTT it was that I know very little, and my first two yoga classes confirmed that. It's hard to explain in words how to move the body in certain, sometimes very subtle, ways. It's hard to give attention to each individual in a room of 12-20 students; ensuring they're all comfortable and not straining themselves or experiencing discomfort. It's hard to speak when you're trying to recall how a certain pose makes you feel without taking up that pose physically. It's hard to remain yourself because you're constantly wondering how everyone is perceiving your class. What's more, it's hard to feel secure about doing something new, something you're a little unsure about. It seriously makes you ask yourself, "what the f*ck am I doing!?"
Yes, these are a few examples of the thoughts, which moved through my mind while teaching those first two classes. It wasn't until I considered the premises of these thoughts that I began to question their validity. It wasn't until I contemplated the true nature of yoga that I began to feel proud of myself for doing what I did in those classes. After some introspection I realized it didn't matter if the classes were perfect, it didn't matter if anyone liked my class, it didn't even matter if I liked my class. What mattered is that I showed up, my students showed up and I taught what I knew, nothing more and nothing less. I'm new and I'm learning, I'll forever be learning. And that's ok. Once I accepted this, I became so excited to keep learning from experience, to keep teaching and sharing the many benefits of practicing yoga with interested people. The opportunity to share this practice with others is a beautiful thing. I've said it before but I'll say it again, I'm so grateful to have discovered yoga, or maybe it was yoga who discovered me? Whatever the way, we're here together and I'm smiling because of that.
The honest learnings and raw reflections of my practice and my life. Unedited.