Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Patient Practice

I am a pranyama away from being a yoga instructor. A dream that was realized over the summer and has been taking shape into reality ever since. My first class will be on Tuesday at 11:00am. It's a new class listing at the gym, so not very many people know about it yet, which is such a relief to me since I am just starting out.

It hasn't taken me very long to arrive at this place. In fact, it's been surprisingly speedy and everything has been happening in my favor......even when I was asked to start teaching a yoga class right after I got my online and workshop certification. I was scared. I hadn't even practiced on anyone yet. I wasn't confident enough to get up in front of a room full of people seeking my guidance in the practice of yoga. Then I found out that I needed to be CPR certified to teach. That bought me some time to practice on my friends and put together a few different sequences. I've had time to prepare and this has made all the difference in my level of confidence as a teacher.

Around that same time, I felt pressure to have a deeper practice, a more flexible body, the ability to perform asanas that my body clearly wasn't ready for. As a result, I seemed to have a different minor injury every week. If it wasn't my low back from doing camel, it was my knee from attempting mermaid pose, if not that, my hamstrings were tight. One day in class, I just lost it. Frustration had pushed me to tears and thankfully, my instructor, Nina helped me to see the lessons my body was teaching me. I needed to slow down and listen to my body and honor what it needed in that moment. My body needed me to be gentle and patient with it, I needed to deepen my breathing in order to open and release the tension and stress I'd been under that had been contributing to my injuries. I needed to learn to modify my practice instead of pushing myself to be the most flexible and agile person in class. Yoga is not a competition. It's a turning inward to tune into what your body needs in that moment.

With these realizations in the forefront of my consciousness, my practice is back on track and I often feel stronger with every Chaturanga Dandasana. The frustration and the sadness that came with it have evaporated and I'm eagerly welcoming the adventure of being a yoga instructor and sharing the peace and practice of yoga with those who wish to learn and bring that same peace and tranquility into their lives as I have received in mine.

Until next time.......

Thanks for reading.