“A ship in the harbour is safe, but that’s not what a ship is made for.” This is one of my mother-in-law’s favourite sayings. I use it often when giving advice to others. It was with this in mind that I agreed to teach my first yoga class.
The moment I enthusiastically said yes, I began to doubt my decision. How could I be sure my ship was actually sea worthy? As with any yoga challenge, I first had to trust the wisdom and experience of my yoga instructor. She seemed to believe I was ready for this step. Next came the really challenging part; trusting myself. I had to believe that I had all the tools necessary to successfully complete this task. Besides, it’s just yoga, right?
How to begin? What kind of class should I teach? Looking for inspiration thought about my own yoga instructors. What was it about their teaching methods that really connected with me? What kind of classes was I passionate about? I knew immediately what to do. I love it when my own practise becomes like a dance. I decided to develop a yoga flow class. I would built up an asana sequence that was repeated and added to several times, just like choreographing a dance .I would keep the poses simple and basic, gradually adding a few more challenging poses for the students to attempt if they were game. I tried to keep it light hearted and fun. I felt happy about the class I had created. Was I really prepared? Again, I remembered my own teacher saying “trust yourself “. Time to take a breath and take the plunge!
Turns out, you can’t be prepared for everything. When I arrived at the venue the morning of the class, I found myself locked out. Yikes!! After a few phone calls, I managed to get inside and calm myself. As the students began to arrive, a young woman came forward to tell me she was pregnant and I’m thinking “but I haven’t covered that in teacher training yet!”. As the class progressed I found that I became more and more confident. As I guided the students through the poses and I followed my own instructions, my own practise became calmer and more grounded. I was having fun! The students all seemed engaged and enthusiastic. I wasn’t prepared for the joy I felt at the end of the class. An unexpected gift.
So it all worked out and I made it safely back to harbour. What a ride!!
Deborah is in the Yoga Centre Winnipeg 200hr Teacher Training Program.