June 06, 2008

First Yoga Class

Well, I did it: I taught my first real class this evening - students I rustled up in my office building and via Craigslist. It started inauspiciously (a husband and wife were there on time, which is two more than last week's aborted class) but others drifted in and I ended up with 6 students. I held it at my office space, in an amphitheater that has a good sized front area that would fit maybe 12 mats. It has some incandescent lights on dimmers which set an OK mood (instead of the banks of flourescents....)

I won't talk too much about the class....it was a pretty basic beginners class, with some breath work, some seated neck and shoulder and side stretch stuff, a bunch of postures coming from table (hands and knees), some very simple sun preps, and some warrior postures - before winding down. It was slated for an hour, and I ran a few minutes over because of people coming in late. But I was pretty much on track with time.....

And....I held the space! I got the lefts and the rights, I mirrored the class, I taught mostly from the mat to demonstrate the postures (5 of 6 students were new to yoga), but was able to work the room a bit as well, assisting, tweaking the music and lights, etc. No fumbling or stuttering, no rushing, I let the class unfold, the students breath and talked a bit about yoga - breath, prana, apana. Just seemed to hit my stride. And as I talked the class into savasana, and felt the familar energy of bodies releasing into the earth, of people letting go, well - it's a pretty amazing and humbling feeling.

Afterwards - pretty wonderful. One of my students is a therapist in the building who has practiced in the past - I met him for the first time when he saw my yoga signs and introduced himself. He came to me after class and said "Your voice is just perfect for doing yoga to". I was floored - have I mentioned how completely nervous and insecure I am about my voice? Finding my voice has been a big theme in my teacher training. And then he said "How long did you say you have been teaching? You seem as if you have been doing this for years...."

And another student, a woman who works in the building who came in 1/2 way through - quizzed me afterwards for her husband: wanting to know if I did private sessions! He's pretty far away, and I'm not really ready to do private seesion, so I promised to look up some studios up that way where she might find something for him. But....again, affirmation.

Some things to change for next week, housekeeping stuff. Some simpler music. Start 1/2 hour later which works better for the students. And now that I have some idea who my students are and what sort of teacher I am (it was almost like I was meeting this "Yoga Teacher Jude" person for the first time), work on another sequence / practice.

But....for the first time, I feel like a yoga teacher. After many years of doing my own practice and thinking "I might like to teach", and many months of training and hours in the studio learning how to teach, to have this sort of positive experience, this sort of "you can do it!" affirmation from the universe - pretty sweet.

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