After practicing yoga on Sunday, I got the question that most seasoned teachers dread, but us newer teachers, who just got off the teacher training wagon salivate over - "Do you want to pick up another class tomorrow night?"
Even though I was already teaching the morning class, and needed to head back to NYC, I agreed on the spot because I want the experience. Practice is practice, let's face it. Whether you're teaching or taking class, we are all on a journey. It is totally different every single time, yet the words are the same. This is why I love Bikram.
I also have a confession to make. This week was very hard for me emotionally. Two people I love very much are no longer a part of my life. The two are completely unrelated to one another, but none the less, I am deeply saddened by their absence in my world. So much has changed since my return from teacher training. I miss the simplicity of our yoga bubble more than words could ever express. At training, friends valued one another so much for support and we weren't allowed to have lovers, so there was never any concern over losing one.
It's right about now that I hear Bikram whispering in my ear, "see, I told you guys you would miss me...." The only good part in having a heavy heart is that it can only get lighter. When you teach Bikram Yoga, it's never about you, it's about your students. So today I was forced to let go of my drama and focus on the bodies and beautiful people in front of me.
First, the 9:45am class. Let's be honest here people, if you are able to take this time slot in the Hamptons on a Monday morning, your life does not suck. You are already way ahead of the game; this is truly the life out here. No more running back and forth between the sweltering city, no more sitting in rush hour traffic. I set my own clock, I beat to my own drum and so do my students out here. There is something very different about the energy mid-week in the Hamptons. No one is in a hurry. Everyone has time for yoga, even if they have children because obviously they can afford 10 nannies to pick up the slack for 90 minutes.
Surprisingly enough, there is very little ego out here. I was expecting the Upper East Side, Type A crowd and all I see in my students is love and gratitude. No judgement, on my part or there's. How did I ever get so lucky? At least that's how I felt as I floated out of my first class this morning. It was just the right amount of people, perfect weather inside the room and out, and I only had one other teacher in class.
When Lienette, the owner, takes my class, tension automatically creeps up. My nerves surprise me. I trip on words and poses that usually give me no issue. Such is life. They say it means that I care about what I'm doing, and that is putting it mildly.
I love talking to people about their injuries, especially when I've experienced something similar. Finally, a purpose for my anatomy knowledge that I gained in training. The before and after part of the class is really where the yoga takes place. Like-minded people interacting on a few benches underneath the stars or the blue sky. Whatever time of day, there is always big smiles, open minds and of course, freshly cut watermelon to hydrate us. Thank you Lienette for creating such a wonderful atmosphere.
Back to the class itself, I really can't say anything bad about my morning class from a dialogue perspective, but my timing was a bit off today for the first time. I ran about 10 minutes over because 45 minutes past the hour is an odd time to start class (but it works for peoples' schedules out here), so the minutes need a little extra counting going forward. I thought I was going too fast at one point, when really I was perfectly timed, so I slowed down to make it up. In the end, no one noticed and everyone thanked me.
There was even a "spy" in the 9:45 class from Bikram NYC who shall remain nameless, but I'm excited to see what the feedback will bring my way. Lienette did not take my morning class, so I knew I'd see her later at the 6pm. She taught me how to check people in and work the register tonight. After 12 years of moving and shaking in corporate America, I can't tell you how great it feels to be brought back to the simplicity of a good job, one that might not pay for the Hamptons house itself, but feeds my soul and helps heal others in the process.
Something about having my new BOSS in the room and knowing that I'm being watched trips me up. My voice cracks, I forget the dialogue and grab for things I should not say. If you're not a teacher, you would have no idea that I was slightly off my game tonight, but I knew and of course, she knew too. But like any good yoga mentor, we talked it out after class and she gave me the most helpful feedback; most of which is common sense and I already learned at training. As in life, when you're nervous, things just don't come out the same. I'm actually trying to remember the critique as I type this and it's hard. I think I'm just emotionally exhausted. I gave everything I had in me today to my mother, her best friend, Cathy and the 20 students I taught.
I never thought I'd say this, but I really love my job and will continue to progress as I teach more. I will give you the feedback in Wednesday's blog before or after my 4:30pm class.
Go in peace until then. Namaste