Day 165

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit” ~ E.E. Cummings

Today’s class started late because 2 people showed up late, so we started about 5 or 6 minutes late. At the beginning I reminded them the themes of the first 2 classes (the breath, and foundation) and asked that they remembered that as we went through today’s class theme (centering and alignment).  I asked again at the beginning about health issues and reminded people to listen to their own bodies. I was really excited and looked forward to teaching Nadi Shodan (and I explained that Nadi means channel and shodan means cleansing or purifying), and then I also taught Brahmari – 2 new pranayama exercises. So that was fun and I think they enjoyed it!
I noticed in today’s class that I was very confident. I felt totally at ease and not nervous at all. I even laughed at myself a few times when I couldn’t remember the direction – and when I was cueing them into triangle and then asked them to bend their front knee, and then I was like ‘oh no, no, no! don’t bend your front knee. We’re doing triangle, not warrior 2!’ and then asked them to straighten the front leg. . And I moved to the side of the room when I had everyone go into Trikonasana and then Prasaritta Padottanasana. And I corrected some people’s feet in triangle, and reminded someone to straighten their front leg because their knee became bent.
I was a little bit off on my timing today because I spent a bit of extra time in the Triangle/Standing Forward Fold flow, and maybe I spent a little bit longer than necessary in Kati Chakrasana near the beginning.
I asked them to observe me do bridge pose (last time when I asked them to observe me, by the time I got out of the pose, most of them were already in it!), and this time they did!
There were quite a few laughs in Garudasana – people having trouble with the balancing (which I said is the purpose of the pose – that it helps improve balance! and one of the ladies said they’re going to practice working on it at home).. I reminded people to breath and smile (both in eagle and in chair!), and if they fell out of the pose, to come back in again. Two people modified with their toe touching the ground. And during chair I was glad to see some people doing the modifications for arms (either out in front or crossed on chest), and I acknowledged that outloud and I said it’s nice to see people listening to their bodies and taking some of the modifications with the arms.
I gave encouragement during lots of the poses – in Warrior 1 I said everyone was looking good (because they were! with their alignment). And in chair, with their arm modifications.
Because I was running a bit over time, I had to cut out Jathara Parivartanasana near the end, so I went front Pavan Mukhtasana to Happy Baby. And I ended up having a shorter meditation by a couple minutes ( because I wanted to give them a full shavasana, which is more important – and reminded them that it’s where all the benefits of the poses are integrated into the body.  I was happy that I got someone to correct their happy baby this time  but this time they got it! So I was happy about that.
Some verbal feedback I got at the end of class was:
One person said she LOVED the downward facing dog and said it was the best downward facing dog she’s ever done – that it had never felt so good and she just relaxed into it.
Another person said her feet feel better with all the forward folds (she has some Achilles tendon/feet issues at the moment). And two of the people said they couldn’t believe how much better they felt since before class – especially how great their backs felt! So that was great.
Overall (despite having to cut out a pose, and having a slightly shorter meditation (which was a heart centering meditation), I felt the best about this class so far out of all of them. I wasn’t nervous at all which was a really great feeling! It was a great boost to my confidence. And I think it came through. I asked one of my students at the end how the speed of my speech/voice was (as I mentioned I’m a fast talker usually) and she said it was fine, just normal. So that was good to hear!

As with the other classes, one of the students helped me take all the yoga props and mats get them put away in a nearby room – which is nice. It still took us about 10 minutes and that’s with her help. It takes me about 20-25 minutes to set up the room each time, and 10-15 minutes to tidy up (with help!) afterwards. I have just enough time to take a few calming breaths before class starts after setting up (and it gets you warm getting all the mats and props in the room and set up properly! which is a good thing because the room is chilly!).  It’s nice that I get assistance in tidying up stuff (usually 2 people help me roll up mats in the room and then 1 student stays to help ferry everything back to the supply room).
This morning I did day 21 of Sharon Salzberg’s meditation challenge before work – 6 minutes about bringing mindfulness to your daily life – to first bring our awareness to the breath and then include awareness of sensations in the body and then allow that awareness to expand.

Tonight from 5:30 – 7:30 I met with 4 other fellow yoga students to go over our final practice  – though because some people showed up late, we only had time to have one person go over their class. We rented a small room at a local community centre. It was a good 2 hours with lots of laughter and lots of confidence building of the student who was teaching and we all learned a lot about cueing as we helped the ‘teacher’ with her cues during the class she taught us. We’re going to meet up to study for the anatomy final exam sometime this week or next week.

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