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Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Very First Yoga Class

I had the opportunity to teach my very first yoga class yesterday. Center for Yoga was named Lululemon Athletica's Studio of the Month and they had asked a few of the recent teacher training graduates if they would teach on behalf of CFY. I jumped on the opportunity.

If you know me, you know that I like to plan things and be as organized as possible (as my fellow JKYTT classmates would tell you, I like "systems" :-P). While I had all my flows in my head and a general idea of the playlist, I had not had the chance to sit down and actually write them down and create a playlist. This was Thursday night. I thought I would have the chance in between meetings to do so, but unexpectedly, things ran late and I went from one meeting to the next. I was exhausted by the end of the night so I decided to wake up early and review the flows and create my playlist.

I wake up on my own, no alarm. It looks awfully bright outside to be earlier than 7:30am, which is what I set my alarm for. I frantically grab my phone and a wave of relief comes over me. It's 7:22am. So I get up and begin to get ready for my day. I ended having a doctor's appointment that morning so I go ahead and get to that. I get out around 8:30am. Later than I expected and I still haven't made a playlist for my 10am class or reviewed the flows. AND I still have to drive back up to Ann Arbor. 

I jump in my car and speed to Ann Arbor. By speed, I really mean that I made a usually 40-minute drive in 20 minutes. Breakfast? No time for breakfast! I throw my things down in my apartment, whip my computer out, and start making my playlist. I write down the flows on a piece of paper (writing things out helps me remember them). I hook my iPhone up to my laptop and while it's syncing, I run through the flows a few times. I begin to get things together for my class, except I can't find my keys to unlock my bedroom that has almost everything I need for my class. It's 9:25am at this point. I wanted to be at Lululemon at 9:30am. You'd think I would only need my iPhone, but I wanted to bring my yoga bag with all of it's yoga fixings in it. I'm frantically searching for my keys. Stop and breathe. That's what I should have done. I eventually find my keys sitting on a countertop and get my things from my room. I grab a banana and run out the door. 

I arrive in the parking garage near Lululemon. It's 9:37am. A great song is playing in my car. So I turned up the volume, closed my eyes, sat in my car, and just breathed

I walk to Lululemon feeling much more relaxed and grounded. I get to Lululemon and begin setting everything up. Shit! I don't have a theme! I didn't make a theme! What am I going to say? Great, my rather last minute planning didn't work out so well. 

Students begin showing up and setting up their mats. What am I going to say? Ok, just stop and breathe. Wait, that's it! That's my theme! Why such a rush? Why not stop, slow down, and breathe? And BAM! There's was my theme.

I was very nervous, like so nervous I thought I was going to cry. Being the great best friend that she is, Nina attended my class and it made me feel much more at ease. :-) Class seemed to go very smoothly and I wasn't at a lack for words. Sure, I made a few mistakes, but who doesn't? 

After closing the class and thanking everyone for coming, I asked for some feedback, both good and constructive. I had a few students come up and ask me when and where I taught classes. I had others tell me that it was the best yoga class I've been to. I had a young man tell me that my yoga class was "clutch." I had a few girls tell me that they've never sweat that much before and it was a great class.

All the comments made me feel really great, but I wasn't getting any constructive feedback. Perhaps they were afraid of hurting my feelings and that was nice of them. I decided to sit down and give myself some constructive feedback from my point of view. I need to slow down just a little bit, and stop walking around so much. I came up with a list of other things, but I won't bore you to death. 

Looking back on the class, it was a great experience, and I am honored to be one of the teachers representing Center for Yoga at Lululemon. But I couldn't have done it without each and every one of my fellow JKYTT classmates as well as those who have helped me along the way. I said this when during our graduation ceremony and I will say it again: Each and every one of you is an inspiration to me and I have learned so much from all of you. Each and every one of you has a light of greatness that I hope you share with others like you have shared it with me. Each and every one of you has helped me grow not only into a yoga teacher, but also a person. I cannot possibly thank all of you enough. Words cannot express the place each and every one of you hold in my heart. With all my heart, thank you! 

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