Teaching is hard.

We’re starting week 5 of training which means we’re half way through. Man, the time is flying by. For the next four weeks, we’re encouraged to practice teach as often as possible – practice the sequence, cueing the postures, physical assists, and interacting with students. So very much to keep track of! It’s hard. I left the practice with even more respect for the experienced teachers who’ve guided my practice so far.

Thanks to the generosity of a church in my neighborhood, I had a lovely room last night where I could invite friends and practice teach a class. Seven amazing people showed up – three fairly experienced yogis, one of my OMies from training (thank you, Jenna!), two who have done a few beginning classes here and there and one newbie. The newbie scared me. I mean, as his very first teacher I felt a lot of responsibility to give him a positive experience. Who wants to be the person who turns people off of yoga for the rest of their lives? Not me.

I’ll never cease to be amazed at the sound of a group of people breathing in unison – creating a wave of energy like no other. By our class manual standards, I sure did miss a lot of stuff. Didn’t get all the cues. Didn’t even have time to go through all the sequences. It didn’t seem to matter. My biggest worry going into the class was that I would give clumsy clues and people would trip over themselves. Or that I’d get tongue-tied and “lift your right leg high” would come out as “lie down and suck on your toes.” That didn’t happen.

Last night will hold a special place in my heart as the first time I stepped onto the mat as a teacher. But, you know what? When you’re a teacher, you’re also a student. I learned from watching my class move into postures, struggling with some and looking more comfortable with others. I learned from the lovely comments they made after class. I learned by opening myself up to their energy.

As always, I’m looking for ways to apply what I learned in my practice to life off the mat. My biggest message from last night is something I already know deep down but need frequent reminders – it truly is OK to make mistakes.

People are forgiving and understanding. We (especially new teachers!) should all give ourselves the same level of love and respect.



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