Teaching yesterday was… interesting. When it was over, I felt excited but also relieved because something really bugged me. It never turns out in class the same as it does at home when I practice. At home I have the image of a room full of my fellow student-teachers in my mind. Sometimes I also have my dog, my kids, my husband or my best friend to teach to, but mostly it’s my imaginary class. The first part of my teaching assignment was to teach the inversion Viparita Karani and on the whole it went well. I began strong and I felt more comfortable than on previous teaching assignments. Then about thirty seconds into teaching I got hit by a huge adrenalin rush. It completely took over my body leaving me feeling helpless and I might add, also slightly annoyed. There I am, up there doing my best to convey the essence of a confident and relaxed teacher when all of sudden – WHAM! I started to shake, my voice quivered and I lost track of my thoughts which caused me to forget elements to the sequence I was trying to teach. My mind went completely blank! Really? I’m doing YOGA and my body decides to send me through what can only be described as a freaking panic attack? I mean, WTF? So the second part of my teaching yesterday was to take the class through relaxation, also known as Savasana. Again I was overwhelmed with adrenalin at about the one minute mark but this time I was prepared for it. I focused on my breath and while I was talking about relaxing and letting go to the class, I mentally told myself to do the same. By the time everyone was all tucked up in the little blankies and savasana-ing away, I was sitting on my mat at the front of the room feeling pretty good about how it all went. I won’t go into my mental battle with deciding on how long to let everyone relax for, but suffice to say, in the end, I was speaking straight from the heart, I felt like I had been teaching shavasana for years, not for the first time. I did have a little moment of feeling proud of myself.
The good news? I’m not the only one experiencing these episodes while teaching. I mean, there is a certain safety in numbers. It does ease me somewhat to know that. The thing that bugs me the most is that I am SO prepared for when I get up there to teach. I mean, more than prepared. So why does my body turn on me? The bottom line is that it’s all ego. It’s ego that causes us to panic, it’s ego that wants us to do well and it’s ego that picks apart the whole thing. Stupid, stupid ego! As yoga teachers we are there to serve, that’s it. It’s not about hearing from our students how awesome our class was or even if we can get into insanely advanced poses. It’s about self-acceptance and letting go. Period.
love & light xo