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.