All I wanted to do this morning was run. I was fidgety and nervous prior to my first studio class and I just wanted to get it out. I told myself to save my energy for yoga, I practiced my class twice through, in pieces throughout the morning and I thought my decision to forgo the run was wise. Yet when 12:30 rolled around, a half hour prior to the class, my heart was racing, as was my mind. While my class was well structured with a theme, lots of poses, some demos and props, I suddenly realized I had hardly any mention of breathing in there. Yikes, a yoga class without breathing, all my students will pass out and turn blue! I panicked googling yogic breathing at the last minute before I walked out the door and then I remembered, I’ve been doing yoga for 15 years. I must have some engrained piece of knowledge about the breathe, something I can say as we move into cat cow, some little reminder here or there I can throw in. The below picture does not do justice to my excitement/ nerves, except that you can see me desperately clutching my lesson plan.
When I arrived at the studio, one of my master teachers, Nicole was there, perfuming the room with serene essential oils and greeting me with her encouraging smile. I placed my mat in my previously decided upon teaching spot and opened the curtains to let in a little light. A friend of mine from work arrived, followed by a fellow yogi I’ve seen in class a few times but don’t know by name, another practitioner I’ve never seen before and my teacher Nicole filled the mats. It was a few minutes past one so I figured I better get started. I asked everyone to take a comfortable seat and off we went. The physical theme of my class was opening the chest and paired with this heart-opening theme I talked a lot about being kind to ourselves. Being just past the midpoint of January, made me reflect on resolutions and how we can be so unforgiving with ourselves if we slip up. So approaching new experience with an open heart and the willingness to make mistakes was a great theme for a novice yoga teacher to embrace. Lucky for me one of my former elementary students arrived, as well as one of my yoga teacher training colleagues, and I felt a bit more at ease to see some more familiar faces. Yet, I found that in my desire to use a calm yoga teacher voice, I sometimes lost the necessary volume to project my voice to the class and nerves didn’t help this. I also think I may have rushed through some poses without adequate description just to be done with them and on to the next thing. However all in all, I think it was a success. I did not fall down, I did not throw up, I did not flee the room in tears. (Yes, these were all possible scenarios I imagined before the class!) In fact, my students and my teacher had many encouraging things to say to me when it was over. After class I got a chance to catch up with my elementary student, who is now 18 or 19 years old. Daniel, who is a runner, completely understood that itchy running feeling I had been experiencing all day. He advised that now that I was done with teaching, I should go run it out. Nicole, after we discussed various points of my class, suggested that now that I was finished I should fully relax, perhaps even enjoy a glass of wine.
I followed both Daniel and Nicole’s advice but not in that order. I met my husband at the Back Abbey for a glass of wine and a salad. He ordered the soup and some fries, and I admit that I downed more than my share of those fries! After a bit of time at home, I realized the sun was getting low in the sky and I was still twitchy. Time to run. Just up to the trail and back through the neighborhoods, for a fun and frolicky four miles. The sunset from the trail was gorgeous and the seventies something weather made running in my shorts and tank a spring-like experience.
The only draw back, duck fat fries and running don’t really mix, so even though it was hours later, it was a heartburn plagued run. I am slowly learning just to run on a completely empty stomach, which means either first thing in the morning, or having a super light lunch around noon, then waiting 4-5 hours and no snack in between. Any other runners have this I-can’t-have-any-food-in-my- belly issue? Anyhow despite the indigestion, my run was just what the doctor ordered. I arrived home to be greeted by to clean pajamas, a bath, and finally the feeling or relaxation I have been chasing all day.