standing at the water's edge
I've been excited to update you about teaching my first three yoga classes. The first class was scheduled for the first Monday in April, but no one came. And then no one came to the second class either. I know… that sounds kind of sad, but it was perfect for me. And before I tell the story, let me clarify that I did little to no PR work beforehand. I actually didn't want too many students the first night. Our HOA had announced the classes, which was good enough for me. I had a game plan for the second week.
When I arrived the first evening, I was nervous about teaching my first class and getting the lay of the land in my new digs, otherwise known as the Barnloft.
The Barnloft, a room above the horse stables, is one of our HOA's meeting rooms. It's a beautiful space with wood beams, two bathrooms, a kitchen, lots of natural light, heat, and A/C.
As I parked and began bringing in my supplies, I saw a horse across the road wearing blinders. I took note, contemplating what it would be like as a human to strap on a bit of leather and block out anything that might stress me. Those horses were on to something.
There was a protocol I needed to follow: unlocking the room, adjusting the heat/air accordingly, opening the blinds, and retrieving the yoga blocks, blankets, pads, etc., downstairs in a storage room.
I arrived an hour early to be able to take my time and not feel rushed. I wasn't nervous; slightly anxious is a better description. I retrieved all the props and set up my paperwork, etc. And then I stood by the window watching for any peeps who might be arriving for my class. The left side of the room has a wall of windows looking down toward the entrance to our development. You can see the cars entering and leaving the Trails (as we are known).
I sat by the window for 20 minutes, watching people arriving home after a long day. It was actually really a peaceful exercise being an observer of our tiny community. At 5:45, I began to think no one was coming. And by 5:50, I started praying that no one would come. I'm laughing as I write this. But it's the truth.
At 5:55, I began to celebrate. And at 6:00, I locked the door, went to my mat, and did a dress rehearsal. It was perfect. I could practice my sequencing and get used to projecting my voice in the room. I also learned how to use my new Bluetooth speaker.
At 6:30, I began to pack up and fell going down the stairs to return the props to the storage room. Even after practicing alone, I was still a bit jittery. The universe had provided exactly what I needed, a night to work the bugs out and another week to heal from the fall. I was a bit sore for a few days.
The following week I began to work on promoting the class and asked my dear friend, Leah Ann, who you might remember from my book signing, if she could put the word out. Her first FB post the following Monday went out to 80ish people in the area. Seriously? Who needs to advertise. But, there is a but; I didn't ask her soon enough, and the post went out Monday morning, likely not enough time for people to plan ahead.
The second Monday went much smoother than the first. I managed to stay upright going down the stairs. And my anxiousness, while not completely gone, was steadily decreasing. I stood at the window once again at 5:45, watching. The minutes passed, and at 6:00, I locked the doors and hurried home as I had a post I wanted to work on. Rick looked at me sideways when I got home so early. I knew he felt disappointed for me, but honestly, I wasn't disappointed. I was sure the third week would bring different results because a few friends had informed me they would be there, including Leah Ann and her husband, Keith.
Fortunately, I had those two nights to work through my anxiety, and I've always been a fan of the phrase,
Third time's the charm.
The following week I had 9 students. While a bit nervous, I felt happy with my teaching. My students were lovely. It was such fun to meet new members of my community. And I even had a crier … oh my God, still my beating heart, another crier to connect with. Her grandparents had recently passed, and she, of course, was in an emotional state.
At the outset, I spoke a bit to the class, introducing myself and telling them a little about me. It's always wise to alert people that I'm a contender for the crying champion because, in time, probably not long, I will choke up in front of them when I'm talking about something with any emotion. That's just me. One of the things I mentioned in my introduction was that I wanted to create a sense of community in our class, not just a place to practice yoga. When I shared that, I looked up to see the undeniable tears in her eyes. And, of course, my eyes welled up as well.
In this crying wayward yogini's world, this was the universe giving me the high five, thumbs up, you got this girl! I settled into the class and arrived home with much different news for Rick.
My second class was as wonderful as my first, with 15 students. And by the third class, I actually removed those bulky horse blinders.
Every Monday morning for the last three weeks, Leah Ann shares a post on FB asking the community who's joining her that evening at yoga with Sue Ferrera. And at the end of every class, she insists on taking a group photo. I am beyond grateful.
That vision I had so long ago, five years to be exact, of teaching yoga in our little town of Cool is coming to fruition finally, in its own time. It's every bit as lovely as I imagined. Because I am in my infant stages of teaching. I am allowing for my well-deserved angst but moving quickly through that to another great life adventure.
The universe certainly had its work cut out for it helping me to find my way, beginning with, but not limited to
steering me toward reading The Artist's Way
bringing Trula into my life to assist and guide me back to the mat
supplying me with a place to teach and a community interested in yoga
and equipping me with a very enthusiastic PR person in the form of my friend, Leah Ann.
From John Heywood's proverb collection of 1546-
You can lead a horse to water…
I'm at the water's edge, happily slurping!