A New Student

Fridays is the drop-in class.  I have gotten used to the same people coming pretty much every week for this drop-in class.  There is a series of six people that seem to trade off so that each week three people, more or less, show up for class.  This week we had a new student come in.  Dottie has never done yoga before.  Ever.

Dottie tells me she has wanted to try yoga for years now.  She told me this first thing Friday morning as we walked into work together.  I told her we have class today, and that she is dressed right if she would like to stop in.  Dottie is wearing the stretchy pants that are in fashion right now.  “Here’s your invitation to join us, Dottie.  It’s a perfect day to give it a try.  We met up on the right day, so come on in.”

I did make some promises as I tried to talk her into coming.  I promised we don’t sweat.  I promised to have her back to her work area on time.  I promised it wasn’t hard to do yoga.  Yes, I do some incredible personal marketing when given the chance.  So far Dottie is only the second person I have talked into joining us.  The first one never came back – that’s another blog post.

I do shameless promotion of the drop-in class.  I mean, really, it’s free.  It’s a no sweat way to get yourself out of your work area.  It’s easy and quiet and fun.  It’s perfect when the weather sucks because we are inside.

So Dottie came to class!  I was grateful – actually grateful – to have her join us.  My regular yoga expert was in class this Friday.  She right away introduced herself.  It was wonderful.  Just sharing names was welcoming.   I introduced Dottie as her first ever yoga.  I am glad I did.  This shared information gave me the power to slow down our postures.  My regular practitioners knew to hold their postures while I instructed Dottie on what, or rather how to move into the next asana.  Everyone was totally cool with it.

It was wonderful to have a seasoned practitioner in class to help show good posture and movement while I narrated what we are doing and how to get there.

Dottie did not make it correctly into a posture or two.  Like Natalie’s’ Law of Algebra she caught on after the test, or as we were moving into the next posture. But she caught on.  I saw the light of understanding blinking repeatedly in Dottie’s eyes.  The light was always just in time for some adjustment.

One of Dottie’s concerns was that she would slow down the rest of the class.  I assured her our class is slow enough she can’t slow it down.  Of course, I lied.  I take verbal shortcuts with the regular group.  We do more repetitions or stay longer in a pose with particular muscle group in mind.  For today I just wanted to introduce Dottie to yoga so that she was comfortable.

So yes, I slowed the class down.  In our forty minutes we did seated twist, cats & cows, two sun salutations (one each side), mountain pose, warrior series, forward wide leg fold, boat pose (twice), windshield wiper knees, 4 pose, knee to ankle twist, happy baby and Savasana.  Fifteen poses in all.  That’s it.  I did allow us to stay in our poses a little longer, to breathe into the muscles.  My regular participant went ahead more than once on the warrior series while I was explaining knees behind toes and opening one’s chest to breath and accept the amazing energy of a warrior.  In this way I know we lingered in the pose a little too long, but Dottie was still getting situated, so she may have felt a little rushed.  I hope that this feeling of being rushed allowed her to believe that we did not slow down the class for her.

Dottie did ask, at the end of class, if she can invite someone to join us at these drop in classes.  I was enthusiastic in my yes – please do, we want you to.  Dottie asked, How many can come?”  and my Subject Matter Expert piped right in, “As many as the mats we have here on the cart.”  That was THE perfect answer!  Oh how I would love to have all those mats in use.  How many mats are there?  That’s how big I want my class to be…every week.

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