garden, running, yoga

do I have to pull over?

Salvia blooms

My garden sage, all abloom

I’m in week three of teaching a yoga class to several co-workers, and in week one of working with a yoga teacher mentor. I’m loving it!

My main prediction for what would be at the top of my mind at this point was that I’d be gaining confidence, which each class taught, and that I’d be learning what verbal cues are the most effective.

So, what’s really at the top of my mind? No one thing. Here’s the list:

  • All of the items I predicted.
  • Music! I’ve gained new appreciation for my husband’s advanced collection of world music, and for my own collection of all sorts of music. I’ve stayed up a few late nights already, going through each album, finding what songs may work for each portion of the yoga class. I have iTunes playlists with names like “yogatunes – integration,” “yogatunes – invigorating,” and “yogatunes – mello.” I used to listen to music this much; I am not sure what happened, some time after college, that I stopped. But it really seems to put a spring in my step, at other times during the day. I think it’s giving me weird, but not necessarily scary, dreams.
  • Due to this increased awareness of rhythms and patterns in music, I’m finding that I’m more sensitive to musical selections, at other times. I went for a run yesterday, and was amazed at the boost that one song gave me, after an hour of music that was far less inspiring. Freddie Mercury saved the day, again. He doesn’t always, but yesterday, he did. I was feeling heavy, and his voiced lifted me – and got my mind of some of the pains that had been present.
  • Finding my voice: last week, I’d been trying put together what to say, while teaching the crucial first five minutes – “integration” – of a yoga class. I’d tried to remember how my teachers have done it, and I even listened to a few of my yoga podcasts, to try and find the words, but it wasn’t working. So, I sat down and just described what those first five minutes feel like to me, when I’m not teaching – what my breath, the gravity, my body feels like, and what’s the best way to get myself to focus on the asana (poses) and breathing. And it worked like a charm! I felt much more confident with those words, than with anything that anyone else has said or put into a manual. I’m going to continue doing this exercise, for the rest of the sequence I teach.
  • I’m becoming a little nicer to myself. And I’m more sensitive to moments when other people are very self-critical. I think once or twice I’ve caught myself responding with something like a “hey, be nice!” or “Ouch!” Seriously, why are we so mean to ourselves?
  • That pranayama is powerful stuff. I think it’s the crucial element when my coworkers tell me, after a class, that they feel fantastic. We all need a little breathing practice, don’t we?

Other surprises: my garden sage plant, the one that keeps surviving Minnesota winters, is now blooming (see photo above!). It’s never bloomed before.