This is not a perfect. This is a practice.

I taught my last yoga class on the Friday before spring break in March 2020. When the university students left for break, none of us had any idea that they would not return to campus until after Labor Day 2021. The campus community soon adapted to a world of masks, distancing and other changes to university life. One change was no in person fitness or yoga classes.

I teach my first class in a year and a half on Monday. Last night I was struggling to create a flow for this class. I was putting pressure on myself with an expectation to create the perfect, best ever flow. I was seeking out the work of other teachers for inspiration, but as I did so, my frustration grew. In a near fit of despair, I picked up my dormant journal where I write out all my the flows. When teaching, I keep it by my mat in case I forget something. After class I make notes on what worked. While thumbing through my journal that had not been updated since 2020, I realized that I did not have to reinvent anything or dream up a flow. I have it. I did not need to copy another teacher. I have taught lots of variations of really good classes. I had to laugh at myself. I had forgotten something I tell my classes often, “This is not a perfect. This is a practice.”

This first class will be different than my last class because I will be masked, all of my students will be masked and the class size will be limited to twenty students. This is all per the university’s policies. 

This morning, I tried out my back-to-school draft flow in my living room while wearing a mask. This helped me figure out the breath work, where to add breaks to lower heart rates and what postures are difficult in a mask.

I feel confidante in what I am doing. I feel like I am getting my groove back. I am enough. I will make mistakes. Occasionally my entire class will have to come to the top of their mats where they’ll shake it off and we’ll begin again, together.

To help me and to share beyond my university, I am going to record myself practice teaching my classes at home. I will figure out a way to make my recording accessible to you on this blog. This will not be a perfect. I will record myself in my living room with a phone. I do not have a studio, blank wall or backdrops. I will flub my words and mess up right and left. There will be flaws. My dog will be in some sequences, she will bark and probably leave a toy on my mat.

This is not a perfect. This is a practice.

19 thoughts on “This is not a perfect. This is a practice.

  1. Robin says:

    Perfect and perfection are so overrated. 🙂 I look forward to practicing with you when you make your recording available. Having been in recorded and live Zoom classes for a while, I find it comforting when a dog makes an appearance or the teacher flubs her words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    You have just reminded me of a post I wrote in 2008, for heaven’s sake! It has to do with writing rather than yoga, but its focus is practice, and the truth that “practice makes perfect” isn’t always the saying to hold close. Having re-read it, I may edit it and repost it — especially since I see at a distance of all these years that I was right in my conclusions then. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jane Tawel says:

    Love this — a great attitude for whatever we are doing today — it doesn’t have to ever be perfect because it never will be and it isn’t supposed to be. It is supposed to be practice and “practice makes perfect” because the joy is in the doing. Thanks for this metaphor and hope your class was a joy. Jane

    Liked by 1 person

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