The wind woke me up just before the 5:00 a.m. alarm. The late October morning was dark as the day light hours are slowly shrinking as we crawl towards the winter solstice in December. I quickly dressed and took the dog out for her morning walk around the neighborhood. As we headed down the hill, without warning, we were enveloped in a torrential downpour. An ominous sign for a Monday.
Forty minutes later was I parking my car to rush into gym where I teach a weekly yoga class. I was running late. I was damp from the rain which had not stopped. I checked my class roster to see that six people were signed up for class, ten people had cancelled. Only five people made it to class; none of them were my regulars. I started class and made a complete mess of the next 50 minutes. I never got into the flow of the class. I was completely checked out, not present in the moment. Afterwards I found a pained smile when I thought of my yoga teacher when something became messy in teacher training, “no one died or got pregnant.”
From August 2018 thought March of 2020 I taught two yoga classes a week. By the time of COVID isolation I had a roster of regulars and a roomful of students. I did not start teaching again until August of 2021. I have yet to get back into my grove.
I have to confess that after class I was a toxic mix of both feeling sorry for and angry with myself. I was even thinking about quitting. Thank goodness I did not make any rash decisions.
Another often mentioned saying from my yoga teacher was, “and you begin again.” After a year and a half off from teaching I wanted to return exactly where I was in March 2020. That is impossible because I am not in the practice of regularly planning and teaching classes. I had overlooked the step of not only beginning again, but beginning where I was at this moment and not in the past.
Since I started teaching in 2018, I have kept a journal that details every flow that I have taught. Many entries include notes on what did and did not work, if class ran short and I to add on the fly or if it ran long and I had to make cuts in the moment. I had notes on timing, playlists and themes. I saw how I had evolved and grown. I saw that I was a darn good teacher.
Flipping through the pages saw that I had relied on a basic framework that I would vary for each class. This way if I forgot something or had check out moment, I could rely on the framework to keep everything running smoothly.
I am beginning again at the point where I had focused in on my framework with a class I used in January 2019 and again in in September 2019. The theme is trust yourself. I have a reading from Melody Beattie to reinstate the theme at the end of Savasana/final rest.
This morning I did a run through practice of this class and then I did a flow for my personal practice. They were not the same. They don’t need to be the same as I need to honor my body and spirit before I can lead a group of people to do the same.
As my teacher would say, “Yeah, really good work yogi.”