I've been home for three full days now, and I feel like I have finally completed "the circle" that Craig always talked about. It's true, coming home was one thing. Sure, it felt great to sleep in my own bed and to have my beloved grape nuts for breakfast monday morning, but it wasn't till I got to the studio in Elk Grove and took a class that I really felt at home. I think I was actually giddy driving over there. It was a trip because I was looking up at the ceiling, listening to the owner talk and it almost felt like I had never even left. It felt like the whole thing had been some sort of crazy dream. What's funny is that after class I got home and realized I had absolutely nothing to do. I had no idea what the heck I was supposed to do with this novel thing called free time. So I decided to take another yoga class. I headed to stockton this time (i'm teaching at two studios) and that was even more surreal for me. Up until training I had only practiced, only even seen one studio... I had seen stockton in various stages of being built, but it didn't actually open till the first friday I was in training. So I thought this place wuld feel completely foreign to me, but it didn't at all. Actually it blew my mind how it had only been open for such a short time but there was already a strong community there. Both classes went really well monday and my body felt great.
I woke up early tuesday morning and drove to Elk Grove to teach my very first class ever at 6am. There were 7 people in the room including me and it went alright. It wasn't amazing but I felt good about it. I got them in and out of the postures, I didn't run over or under time, and more importantly - we all survived and lived to tell about it. I have part of the class on tape and to my shock I didn't sound nearly as bad as I thought I would. I stuck around and took Erika's first class at noon, and it cracked me up because before she stepped on the podium i could feel all this nervous energy welling up inside me again. I felt like I was up there with her. Turned out I was nervous for nothing, of course, and she taught a strong class. She rocks, there was no doubt that she would be an excellent teacher, and I was so glad I was there for her. Later that evening, I taught the 6:30 class in stockton, and it felt a million times better that my morning class. I was so much more at ease and I felt like I did a better job of spitting out dialog, and still being myself. Helena told me after the first minute or two she could hear the quiver in my voice and then it was gone. It was like I just realized okay, I this. I worked my ass off for 9 weeks at training and even longer before this. I can do it. And I did. It felt so incredible. It was really special having Helena in my class because she taught the majority of my first classes. I can remember so many 8:15 classes laying in savasanah laughing about whatever story she was telling all the while sweat poured off me. I said something last night, I can't remember what it was, but we both chuckled and caught eachother's eyes, but this time I was on the podium and she was the student. It occured to me that Craig was right about the importance of completing the circle. It's one thing to go to training, do the work, take the classes, and get the certificate. Sure it feels wonderful to know that you graduated, you accomplished something, but it's not until you actually teach that the real satisfaction comes. I cant' describe how powerful it is to stand on the podium and look out at the class and realize that these people trust you, they paid you to lead them through class. They'll work hard for, sometimes harder than they want to, and it's your responsibility to not just be there, not just recite words from memory, but to teach. In doing so, yes you have to know the dialog but you have to care, and I think you have to share yourself with them. I think The biggest difference between my teachign the first class and the second class was obviously my comfort and my confidence levels. I was so much more comfortable my second time around (which makes sense) and I was able to give so much more of myself. As a result, I think I received so much more. It's true you give what you get.
I taught again tonight, this time that same 8:15 class that I used to take so often. To be honest, I think I was more nervous this time. I just kept worrying, What if last night was a fluke? What if it doesn't feel the same way? I was starting to spin a little bit and I was bummed out about other random things, and I thought about everything I learned in training about the power of thinking and how there was no way I was goin to go into that room and teach with all my stuff in my head. So I turned on one of my all time favorite feel good songs, "Brass in Pocket" -- sang at the top of my lungs "Intention, I feel inventive, gonna make you, make you, make you, make you notice..." (a little narcissistic, I know. but it's a feel good song, alright) anyhow, by the time I walked in the studio I was feelin good. and Big Surprise- Class went well! Really well! I walked out with the biggest smile on my face. I think I had that yoga high you get after taking a class times ten. Everything that had been bothering me before class was completely gone. I had been completely worked up about something that was beyond my control, and for 90 minutes I didn't think about it, I didn't even consider it. When I got in my car it popped in my head for a second and I quickly dismissed it knowing I couldn't change the circumstances so why worry? How crazy is it that people pay to get that kind of clarity and I had just recieved it not only without paying, but I was getting paid! It's true what they say teaching really is more therapeutic than taking! I guess it just goes to show that Bikram is right when he talks about how much you help yourself when you take the time to help others. I keep thinking, how lucky am i? I get to do this for a living. I am truly blessed.