Private Gigs can be Cancelled

My private gig was late on Sunday.  Okay, my private lesson was late and then cancelled.  When I received the first text requesting late, I was a little miffed, but I agreed.  When it got a lot late and I was getting hungry and ready to move on with my day – well, that’s where I found myself glad that I don’t do yoga teaching for my only means of support.

When she had requested late, she hadn’t specified how late and at the really late mark I was feeling jerked around.  My text to her at the hour late mark (I can’t believe I waited an hour), “Do you want to do this next week instead?”  For all the things I wanted to say, I kept it simple.  And nicer than I felt.

It actually really pissed me off to be hanging here waiting for somebody.  And it isn’t until just now that I can see how thoughtless, how unaccepting I am of other people’s problems.  I was thinking total jerk thoughts…okay, just for an hour maybe.  It just goes to show me that I am no angel, I am no bodhisattva, I’m no yogini.  I am just another Joesephine with an agenda.  Being a yoga-meister does not make me better, or more accepting or enlightened.  I’m still who I am.

And I am truly sorry she started her day off with a flat tire.  It’s no way to start anyone’s day.  I’m sorry she didn’t feel the need to share that with me until late.  We will try again next week.

Heat of the Sun

Heat of the Sun

It’s been cold outside.  The room we use for Friday Drop-In isn’t so wonderfully warm.  As I walked into our room yesterday I felt a hollow chill.  I am missing the sun.  It wasn’t hard to mentally change up my practice plans for the day.  Sun Salutations.  We needed sun salutations.

This is a mid-day class.  I tend to go slow.  I do a lot of explaining.  We breathe deep into our postures.  Those that can go deeper into a posture have plenty of time to do so.  I stay away from postures and pacing that is going to send anyone back to their workstation with sweaty faces or fresh body odor.  We do a quiet set of postures.  We release tension and open ourselves up to breathing.

Yesterday though, yesterday we needed to warm up this room.  I’m glad I  decided that.  Three people showed up in sweatshirts.  Two women in the group have never done yoga other than with me and we’ve not been at it very long.  So together the whole group did the first salutation while I did a lot of explanation.  I’m sure I was huffing through the inhale and exhales while I called them out.  I tried to gather my breath in Samastiti – Hand to Heart Center.  Then I let everyone know we are going to do the same motions for the other side.  This second side I shortened the cues.  I was able to breathe better.  It was good to see that everyone was keeping up.

As a group, we went through three full Sun Salutations (each side) today.  Sweatshirts came off.  There was too much activity for Resting B*tch Face to set in.  The Warrior Series was relaxing after the salutations.  I guided the group into a severely modified Flying Warrior (Virabhadrasana III) as the key posture today.  It just seemed to want to happen, as if I meant this to be the peak pose.

Seated and Floor postures suffered.  There just wasn’t any time left.  And time was already out as I guided my merry band to relax in Savasana.  I am so thankful there is no clock in that room.  More than once I have played with time to get one more thing in.  My band of merry yogis has no idea.

Savasana was pitifully short, a minute and a half, maybe.  I am not sure anyone had enough time to let go and relax plus incorporate their practice into their bodies yesterday.

Thing is, it’s all good.  As this merry band of yogis walked the hall I heard everyone mention how very relaxed they felt.  I even heard, “more than usual”.   And they were all walking comfortably as if they were actively relaxed.  I need to remember this.

Note to Self on benefits of repeated Sun Salutations:

  1. No time for Resting B*tch Face.
  2. An active relaxed mode sets in.

And everyone continues to breathe.

 

There is Always One – the Individual

I have one student, that does not follow along with the class. She’s My Individual.  She does her asanas as she wants to.  It is beyond interpreting my cues.  No, she out-right does her own sequence.

As everyone closese their eyes at the beginning of class, I have quit closing my eyes.  I need to keep them open to see what my Individual is up to.  Repeated suggestions and recommendations to place her bum higher than her ankles on a bolser or a blanket in an easy cross-legged pose just isn’t going anywhere.  Everyone else is seated on a bolster and on blankets.  My Individual is purposefully the only student to stay seated on the mat.  She likes being the only one.  I recognize it is her yoga, her way.  She also doesn’t stay seated as long as the group does.  It is all I can do to keep the pace of the class even and still be sure my Individual is in an asana nearby.

This week, after a couple of warm up moves, I was guiding the class back into child pose before we kick it up a notch.  I look up from my own child pose to see My Individual is not in a child pose at all, but is threading the needle.  I realize that she probably does like yoga and that she is very comfortable in class.  I realize that I am not progressing through the postures in the manner she would prefer. I also realize there is nothing I can say that will get her to stay with the group.  She will do what she will do when she wants to do it.

For now I have come to the conclusion that I am not the one guiding her through postures.  I am, by default, giving her a space to guide herself.  The best I can do with this one – and I have spent a couple days considering what to do with this – is to keep an eye on her to be sure she is not going to do any damage and that she is doing the postures as well as possible.

The rest of the class is absorbed in their own practice.  Some have their eyes closed.  Most are looking off into the distance, soft gazes (beautiful drsti) unaware for the most part that my Individual is checking her shoulders hard to the right and then hard to the left.  (Oh, I so want to say something)  As long as My Individual is doing well, is not disturbing the rest of the class, and continues to join us for yoga, I’m happy.  I can’t say she hasn’t caused me some concern.  There is nothing I can truly do from here.  She is happy to come to class.  I wonder that she would feel stifled in a private class.  She would probably tell me it holds her too accountable.

Now that I have resigned myself to her yoga, her way…she makes me smile.  I think yoga may be her recess.

Ain’t no big Thang

I’m supposed to write of who I am, to write from inside of me.  I am to do those things that feed my soul, that make me feel comfortable with myself and where I am.

When I guide yoga, I am always unsure.  I am unsure if I come out too strong, If I am not fun, if these postures are hurtful or too hard.  I want to look out over my students and see them in good form, better than last time.  I’m not sure they are.  I don’t know when I have done it right.

The Friday classes are only two and three times a month.  How can this possibly be helpful?  Is there ANY benefit to just three times a month?

And am I doing the thing that brings me joy.  Is joy part of learning to do this?  Is the joy in the learning?  Are the students feeling the joy?  I have had positive feedback.  Is this only because they do not want to be negative nellies?

I am told my pacing is good.  I am told the Savasana is wonderful – and so yes, we are able to leave on a good note.  I want to be better.  Just as important I want to feel good that this is in fact what I am supposed to be doing.  I like doing yoga.  I like doing yoga with people.  Am I  an instructor?  I don’t want to give this up without giving it my honest and authentic heart.  I will know if it truly fets.  Maybe I am to  be among the crowd, and not in front of the crowd.

Maybe I am too early to pass judgement on myself.  We are our own harshest critics.  This is a tough idea.  I would kick myself years from now to wathc a woman my age in front of a class, showing her insecurities and still being a teacher.  I am good at not sharing my insecurities in front of the group.    Regardless of how I feel.  I am better than some, I have more heart than many.  I can do this well, and it will cover me like a glove, a nice skin tight yoga suit to be proud of.

My life is not yoga right now.  There is too much life beyond any yoga or spritiual notion.  There is more life to live than just “on the mat” or “off the mat”.  There is more life off the mat than I will ever live on it.  I love yoga.  But, it is merely the prep time that I spend before I go on to life.

I can wear this yoga instructor well.  And I can live off the mat, and I do for gawd’s sake live it well, off the mat.  I love me my football, and my martinis and my sweet love and children.  I enjoy my job, even while I want to replace it with a yoga job.  I have dreams and aspirations of the beach house,  and friedns coming to stay the weekend, and holidays with all the family surrounding us.  I have recipes to conquer and garden’s to plant, and moon travel that I want for a birday treat.  I have my convertible, and my frequestn flyer myles and I have a list an arm long of all the places I want to visit.  There is so much life outside this yoga…that even as I write thes you must know, you must be clear that an hour on the mat every other day is a very strong practice.  Meditations for fifteen minutes every single day, every day, every one is essential for stability and dream realizations.  And it’s only fifteen minutes.  Yoga isn’t necessary for dreams to realize.  Meditation is.  Medidtaion IS essentioal to happiness.  If we don’t have time to relax and feel our happiness, there is no happy.  And happy is important in a successful life.

My life is already successful.  Yoga feels good.  Meditation reminds me that I am happy, and for all the right reasons.

Am I a yoga teacher?  I dunno, I have only just started. I wonder if I can teach happy in yoga.  Maybe I need to teach “Aint no big thang” in yoga.  I don’t teach often enough to get across any philosophy really.  Its hard to choose a philosophy in front of the mats when I don’t get in front of the mats very often.  Three times a month for the group and once on Sundays for my private patron.  We all want to have fun, to stay away from resting b*tches, to walk away from class smiling and content.

That’s all there is to it, it ain’t no big thang that we continue to breathe.

The Short Class

My most challenging class to teach is the short forty-five minutes for Friday Lunch Drop-in.  I want to do so much with this group.  There simply isn’t enough time.

We have an hour at lunch to gather our self, our whole self, into the space where we sit, relax, release and then open up our bodies during postures to hopefully include our whole body and then relax and lock in that quiet mind and refreshed body before we each go back to work.   I want desperately to give them these moments for themselves before we return to the phone calls and meetings and deadlines.  This tension and busyness (business…how interesting) outside the walls where we practice yoga seem to strain to come in and affect our effectiveness.  My task is to create the mental space for each of them to let go of time and stress.

I want to make this forty five minutes last longer.  But forty five minutes is forty five minutes.  I try to allow our Savasana to extend an additional minute, or I attempt to teach a little pranayama beyond the postures and the clock becomes imperical.  Everyone is rolling up the mats a little quicker.  It seems we barely have the time needed to get back to our areas.   I see from each person the need to scatter, undoing all we may have accomplished.  Am I doing a disservice sending every one back a minute or two later?

If I focus on the physical movements only and not the quieting and releasing of our tensions, then the tensions show in each of their postures.  That is a disservice, and it’s not yoga.

There is only time to focus on either the strength of Warriors, or the cleansing twists, or the calming yin postures – not all three.  Pick one.  Only one.

There seems to be a time when yoga classes were almost two hours long.  I loved those classes.  They certainly weren’t at a drop-in lunch program. The two hour program was pleasantly strenuous.  My arms hurt from holding Warrior poses.  My inversions such as shoulder stand always moved into a plow pose.  There was time to relax deeper into the postures.

Lunch time Drop-In courses require a different design than traditional classes.  I believe I am correct in focusing on stress release and single purpose focus.  We only meet once a week, so I cannot layout a five day program – Monday is hips, Tuesday is shoulders, Wednesday is…etc.  I have one day – one forty-five minutes – to let these folks feel their yoga.

I used to ask what did each of them want to work on.  I can tell you without asking any more.  Shoulders and neck, or “just everything”.  Mostly I see they just want to move.  If I ask them what is hurting they let me know they have sore wrists or not much strength in their wrists.  We do wrist movements and rolling.  We don’t do much holding in downward dog.  We stay away from plank and chatarangas.  We do dolphin pose, we do Eagle arms.  Everyone likes hip openers.

I have six regulars that rotate through.  I have another five people that email me regularly to tell me they will be there “next week” but never show.  They are my wanna-be’s.  Someday they will come.  Someday I will have twelve regulars that rotate through.

As a new yoga teacher, I am having trouble myself finding the time to practice fully what I want to share.  I want to change it up.  I have it in my head.  I practice it once at home.  I use notes.  From my own experience I liked the teachers that had a more or less set sequence with daily variations.  So I have my set sequence.  This week my goal is to write a fresh sequence and practice it myself at least three times, once for flow, once for time management, once to memorize it.  I hate bringing notes.  I’m five months in and I still bring notes.  My peeps need a yoga teacher that knows her stuff like the back of her hand and can continue to breathe.

Words to Finish Practice

My favorite instructor always finishes practice by saying, “Thank you for allowing me to guide you in your practice today.”  I love when she says that.  I did allow her to guide me, and she does a fantastic job of it.  I can’t help but think, “thank you for guiding me”.

I have tried to say that same phrase after my classes.  I get as far as “Thank you for allowing me to guide you…” and then I trail off as if I have forgotten the words to a famous prayer.  I trail off without wanting to be obvious.   I can see some of the students smile and nod to me as if they know what I am trying to say, and they release me from having to pronounce all that I meant to say.

I suppose that, “Thank you for allowing me to guide you today.” is enough.  Usually though my thanks resides in the fact that people even came to my class.  From that aspect my finish remark could easily be, “Thank you for joining me for yoga today.’

I want to offer that “I hope you enjoyed a good practice.”  But that doesn’t even read right. “I hope your practice was good.”  If I have been watching the class I would know how the class was perceived, now wouldn’t I?

I am grateful that people come to my classes.  I am grateful that they express an interest.  When I started hosting yoga classes I nicknamed it “Yoga with Friends”.  If I stick with this theme for a little while longer, and I expect to, my salutation can easily be “Thank you for joining me today.”  Simple seems better.  Enough said.

Instruction is Not Practice for Myself

The name for my yoga business is “Yoga with Friends”.  Being a yoga instructor has kind of changed all that, but I still like the name.  The intention was that I would have friends to do yoga with.  I now see that my own yoga practice is not actually available while I am guiding others.  To be the instructor I find I am demonstrating the posture and then scanning the group for alignment and facial expressions.  While I breathe into a posture, it is more for show than to actually feel the deepening for myself.  I don’t know why I thought being a yoga teacher would allow me to do more yoga (and be paid for it).  I still have to carve out time in my day for my own practice.

I see that even more now that I am instructing others I need to kick it up a notch for my own practice.  I am a better guide in class when I have myself well-grounded.  Yoga with Friends has morphed as I am shifting my focus to the friends in front of me.  In my classes I am doing yoga for friends more than with friends.  No, I don’t expect to change the name.  It will stay Yoga with Friends.

Yoga teachers still take yoga classes.  I spend more time in classes than I do teaching yoga to others.  Of course, I am a better teacher for it.  Some classes I take for myself, to deepen my own practice.  Some classes I like to go to because they have sequencing or cueing that helps me guide the people in my classes.  Either way it is a compliment to all of my teachers that they help me be a better instructor.

The more advanced classes, Level II, I enjoy for my own stretching.  The Level I classes and All Level classes I like for the review (again and again) of the basics.

When teaching a class I have to take into account the lowest common denominator.  The person that is new to yoga has to be my main focus.  Everyone that knows what a Sun Salutation is knows how to follow along.  For those new to yoga I repeat the sequence, the alignment cues, the left and right of the postures.  For the comfort of everyone I do not allow myself to go any deeper into a pose than the least flexible person in the room.  I take that back, I do go deeper and I show the next fullest expression of the posture for those that are ready to try that added benefit.  Then I come back to the level of the newest member and keep my eyes on the group.

People don’t want to admit to not knowing the postures.  I can tell who they are.  It’s okay, there’s usually more than one person that is trying something for the first time.  I have to keep it slow, basic, informed.  We all end together regardless of the level of experience.  And we continue to breath.

Jitters

Class is getting easier to lead.  I kind of feel I am in the groove.  People are coming every week.  I have a couple regulars.  I don’t know how to grab back the people that haven’t returned.  There are two young ladies that were really excited that yoga was going to be offered.  One of them came to the early – non-sanctioned classes and really liked it.  She brought her friend with her to the group class and then neither of them have been back.  I hear things like; I forgot my stretchy pants.  While I know yoga isn’t everyone’s cup of tea I still want to fill the room every week.

Today was a good strong group.  There were four of us this time.  Three are new to yoga.  I am their first yoga instructor.  Ever.  For me that means I will be doing a lot of talking, a lot of explaining the mechanics – left foot back, right foot back, square up your hips,  describing where center of gravity should be, how to plant one’s feet for alignment, allow yourself to breathe into the posture.

It always surprises me that I can’t remember “arch” of one’s foot.  As in, “Line up the heel of your front foot with the arch of your back foot.”  For some reason the word “arch” escapes me.  Another glitch in my instructions is requesting everyone walk their hands to their feet when I mean to say, walk your feet up to your hands.  Having new students, I am finding that I am not doing my own yoga practice, I am guiding others in theirs.

This week I have a fresh sequence that includes several twists.  With the new patrons I didn’t think to revert back to last week’s sequence.  I was excited to bring in some fresh postures.  Twists are great for loosening stagnant energies.  Twists massage the internal organs.  Twists help to dislodge pent up stress in our bodies.  I was so pleased to incorporate some twists throughout today’s practice.  Twists may not be good for first time yoga practitioners.  But I give away the story there.

Class actually went very well.  I was good at mirroring my left to their right. The twist were easy and understandable.  We started our practice with regular cats and cows, rotating our hips back and forth.  I then had everyone thread the needle, this is more a pose for releasing the shoulders and the back.  There is a twist in it, but we focused on our shoulders. Then we moved into a Child’s Pose (Balasana) to relax, to feel our shoulders and open our back a little more.  As we moved into our standing poses, starting with Half forward fold (Ardha Uttanasana),  then forward fold -holding our elbows for deepening our posture, I had the group rock back and forth.  I cue’d for grounding our feet, feeling our hips, back and hamstrings opening. We came up to Mountain Pose, Samasthiti and back to forward fold.  We repeated full-fold, half-fold, Mountain Pose and Samasthiti. Then we went to Chair Pose (Utkatasana) returning to Samasthiti a couple times and then complete this with a twisted chair pose – once each side.  I did not have the group hold this pose but for a breath each side, I could see this was the extent of their abilities today.  We moved on to a Warrior Sequence. The Warrior went over well.  Everyone seems to know Warrior II (Virabradrasana II).  I spoke of hip placement and elongating the core with the inhale.  We completed this sequence with Triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana).  Though to me this is not a twisting pose the opening of the core in this pose can feel dislodging to one’s gut and mid-core.  Regardless, the class was moving along really well.  I felt like a real yoga master.

Once we made it to the floor poses I was having the group twist into a Belly Twist with legs extended.  It feels great on the back and hips.  I feel this pose up into my shoulders, my pectorals as well.  I heard sighs of release from the group.  I knew I was reaching everyone.  I was happy to be a part of this.   We held our knees and made little circles to massage the lower back.   I guided the group into Happy Baby pose and then we came to rest for Corpse Pose.  Everything went just as I had sequenced it.  The group was responsive and flowing.  We were in the groove.

Later, it was later that afternoon that I received a chat asking, “Should I be feeling all jittery?”  It was then that I realized I too was unable to calm myself or to focus on the project in front of me.  I was feeling scattered and agitated for no known reason.  My confidence came crashing down.  Did I teach inappropriately?  Did I do this?  What am I to tell her, a newbie at that, about dislodging energy?  What should I have done to get everyone back to the calm and focus that we look for after yoga practice?  Did I sequence this right, or was the sequence even healthy?  I’ve been doing yoga for a long time and even I felt the effects of this twisted session.  I don’t think it’s just an advanced class sequence, I think it really did shake up people’s bodies.

My answer back, and the general e-mail I sent out said, “Thank you all for coming today.  I appreciate being able to guide you in your yoga practice.  I wish you all a wonderful weekend.  We worked some powerful energy today so please drink lots of water and be kind to yourself this weekend.  I look forward to seeing you all next week.”  I refilled my own water and started drinking to calm down.

Here’s the thing, did I do something wrong?  I admit, I’m a little panicked. Was the sequence too invigorating?  What kind of damage does this create?  I’m feel like I’m on shaky ground.  I don’t get it.  Is it the twists?  It seems an obvious answer to me.  I don’t have enough training here to know.  I don’t have enough training to know that this would happen.  I haven’t heard from anyone else.  Yoga is meant to heal not create crazy.  I am worried about my peeps.  I had no idea yoga was this strong.

For future reference – this Friday Lunch Drop-In is meant as a quick, light-fare, lunchtime escape.  I need to keep in mind that there may always be new people.  I want to pull together two or three light sequences for the shoulders, the hips and the back and leave it at that.  I am not some guru-yogini-master. Lunchtime yoga is not here to heal anyone.  It is ginger-ale for whatever may afflict you.  That’s it.  I am a new instructor.  Full stop.  May we all just continue to breath.

When Sunday Comes to Practice

Sunday has been coming to my house to practice yoga for over two years now.  She has arthritis in her hip that hurts bad enough that for several years already she has been going in to the doctor to get Cortisone injections.  I didn’t realize these injections are a procedure that includes an anesthesiologist and a very long needle.  I hear ‘shot’ and I think flu, something I can get at the neighborhood pharmacy.  Apparently not.

Sunday has not felt the pain enough to go in for her cortisone for over two years now.  I did not realize the relief that slow regulated movement can do for this kind of pain.  I am like, really proud that something I do for her can make such a difference.

This last Sunday, so yesterday, I was determined to give a successful yoga hour.  Something that will stay with Sunday for the whole week.  As an instructor I have been feeling bad that two weeks ago when she came by to practice yoga I did some pretty perfunctory poses, and called it good.  I just didn’t take the time to feel it.  It’s not that I didn’t want to feel it.  My mind was tired.  I was feeling drained.  I know, because I’ve been there, that the drained feeling can be totally recharged with yoga…but I didn’t go there.  I don’t know why.  I’ve been feeling guilty of not taking care of Sunday for two weeks.

Determination is a good thing.  I don’t care what you are doing.  If one is determined to make a difference…it happens.  It has to, there’s no choice.  The difference in Sunday, and my own body from our practice is fantastic.  It is palpable.  We started with our wrists, as I know her wrists get tired throughout our hour and a half together.  We did gentle seated twists as we sat in easy pose with our legs crossed.  The leg crossing agitates Sunday’s knees and legs and ankles so I don’t linger.  But we do breathe into each posture.  Every breath is sent to release the muscles and ligaments that are responding to the posture.

Our back, our back and spine and vertebrae are of absolute importance to me.  I know it is important for Sunday to open the hips – and this release lasts all week for her.  To me it is important that all the parts still work together and the back is a conduit, a firing rod, the stake in the ground that is best as a strong, straight staff that connects smoothly with the hips.

Sunday and I spend some time in cats and cows rotating the hips in a stable pose.  I know her wrists are starting to feel the burn as we move on to Bird-Dog pose for the Psoas muscles (find Ray Long, MD, FRCSC web page for Bird-Dog – Link here).  Just switching up the right and the left arm is enough to keep us going.  Once we are done with Bird-Dog twice each side we relax into Child’s Pose and roll our wrists as they rest on the mat overhead.

Every week is different.  This week as we come up on our knees from Child’s Pose we moved into Gate Latch Pose (Parighasana) and Sunday felt the hip opening.  Personally, I don’t feel the opening.  I had thought this a bland posture.  For Sunday, this posture is huge wonderful.  I wanted to be sure she didn’t collapse her side body, and that the hips were squared up and all that.  Sunday was simply glad to feel the hip flexion and the rotation.

So, to fast-forward here to our wide legged forward fold, we had our blocks in front of us as we folded over at the hips.  Sunday and I place our hands at our hips so we can feel the pivot action centered right there.  I’m sure I was yacking on and on about keeping the back straight, don’t worry about how low you go, etc…take hold of the block when you get close and adjust it to the right height to use the block for stability as we hold and breathe into the posture.  Sunday moves her block to a comfortable height.  We stay here for a while breathing and talking.  Sunday tells me she’s not feeling this posture in her hips, she’s feeling this posture in her shoulders. Huh.  For me this is all a hip and legs posture.  But Sunday is feeling it in her shoulders?  I can take all the teaching classes there is time available for, but I learn way more from actually teaching.  I learn more from my students.  I wonder that it is ingrained faster when I hear things from my students.  Today (Monday) I tried to recreate the scene, but to feel the posture in my shoulders.  I haven’t found it yet.  I get close to feeling the posture in my shoulders when my back is rounded, but nothing worth mentioning.  I don’t know what I would do different.  Maybe we can start next week with shoulder releasing postures.

In fact, for Sunday we did move on to postures like Eagle Arms (Garudasana – arms only, in a seated position) to release the shoulders.

Overall, Sunday and I enjoyed a deep practice.  We both felt strong, energized and relaxed when we were done.  Savasana’s focus was on how happy each of our body parts are.  The ankles are happy to be stronger than when we started our practice.  Our hips are pleased to feel such release and relief.  Our shoulder blades are loose and melting with joy into the mat to relax…etc.  It was a fun Savasana.

Famous Firsts

Whoa!  My first class with strangers.  My first group class.  It went over okay.  I had six people show up.  That was perfect.  I wasn’t overwhelmed, and there was plenty of room and the space was well utilized.  I’m happy actually.

Things I did right:

  1. I had a sequence and presentation ready and memorized.
  2. I asked everyone’s name (and remembered them).
  3. I asked for requests. That was a little nerve-wracking. I didn’t want to deviate from my sequence too much that I lose my way.
  4. Let’s see, I kept us on schedule time-wise.
  5. Bring lots of towels – we had to use them for yoga mats.

Things I was surprised by:

  1. As Shelley left she said that she likes my timing – not too fast or too slow.
  2. There aren’t any mats available.  I understood there would be mats.
  3. Shoulders, everyone agreed that shoulders need work – and I was able to incorporate shoulder work with seated postures right after we ended our standing postures. It flowed as if I meant to do it that way.
  4. Mirroring the group is pretty tricky. I feel funny switching up which way I present on the mat to mirror the group. Left means right, right means left. I’m not good with left and right to begin with. I am learning to say, “Bring your opposite foot back into your lunge.”  I never had that problem before.

I’m a yoga instructor and I continue to breathe.