My First Day
September 4, 2017
When I say my first day, I mean teaching at a real life studio, with people that aren’t my mom or sister.
Just 5 weeks earlier I graduated from my 200-hour yoga teacher training at Yogalinda with mentors Heather Anderson and Lezanne Stuart guiding me through an incredible journey of self-exploration. To have the opportunity to teach where I was taught (and continue to learn) is an incredible gift.
First days can be terrifying and exciting, all at the same time.
The days leading up I was full of self-practice, practicing with family, reading and re-reading books and old notes, writing ideas and watching videos to encourage myself I’d be OK. I kept laughing (and crying) at myself for how relaxed my August was, thinking I could have practiced more or maybe I could have tried to increase my Sanskrit terminology (which is minimal to say the least).
I would think about university and how I could present so easily but when it came time to present any of my own research, it became that much more personal and frightening to share. Teaching yoga for me is kind of the same nervousness. For me yoga is personal, and as a teacher I get to share my ideas in classes, which can be daunting.
So, I arrive my first teaching day, and Heather asks me “you’re relaxed, aren’t you?”.
I tell her I’m nervous but relaxed. Which was true but a part of me kept thinking ‘I’m not relaxed!! Can’t you tell I’m freaking out? Help me, give me pointers or a pep talk’. But that isn’t what would have helped me grow. I think having the awareness of my feelings and having to work through them really helped me teach. When we care and want to strive at something, its normal to be nervous!
I contemplated where I should place my mat, and Heather said “I’m sure wherever you put it you’ll teach beautifully”. After what felt like forever I sat down in the studio to mediate. Everything was organized and ready. I just needed to breathe and be present, exactly what I hope to share with people.
I would just breathe, enjoy, smile, and be myself… And remember a whole sequence I had planned out.
I looked at my students hoping they enjoyed. Hoping they felt challenged but relaxed and at peace. Hoping they understood me and liked me. And really hoping my mentor enjoyed the class.
Heather was so wonderful, inspiring, welcoming, and helped me feel confident. She gave me proud and positive feedback, as well as ‘loving criticisms’ and reminders. She talked with me about some things I had forgotten or mixed up (like using a clock to explain the position of your hand in half moon). Helping me with my adjustment confidence by inviting me to attend her class and adjust with her. Talking to me about being mindful of my voice (as you can imagine in the beginning my voice was very quiet), and sequencing/ timing options.
Overall day one— I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my shell and truly grateful for yoga journey. I learned so much today, and I’m looking forward to seeing what lessons I learn next week. It’s all a journey, each class taught I am able to learn more and more to be a more effective teacher.
Thank you for reading and sending support, Namaste.
200-hour yoga teacher training at Yogalinda June 2017
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