I can’t clearly explain what exactly goes into facilitating a yoga class but imagine something like this:
45 bodies carrying different pains, stories, expectations, and hope. They somehow learned that yoga was an affective modality of either physical or mental therapy. Each of these people are on varying experience levels from ‘third class ever’ to ‘third decade of practice’. On any given day, one of my students is fighting a cold, another fighting with their loved one. Another will be fighting with their body image, fighting whether or not they like what I’m saying.
45 minds challenging me, listening to me, judging me, or maybe loving me but all equally felt. My job is to be creative; choose a handful of hundred year-old poses, throw them together in a meaningful sequence that is safe, challenging, and just-enough-accessible to practice. So as not to worry I am (worst fear) ruining their experience.
45 bodies I have to scan at every moment to make sure they are aligned, safe, and correct. While keeping a steady reminder to breathe, all the while, I am trying to maintain composure – even on my worst days. Even when my face can’t lie, because like any job, I must be professional. I curate music playlists to inspire the class, I hold steady to my true voice and style, I talk for sixty minutes straight before I share mantra or song. Praying with all my might I don’t fall flat on a note and hold my vibrato at just the right cadence so it doesn’t accidentally ruin closing rest. All this in 75 minutes until the salutation of ‘Namaste’ is exchanged, all the pressure is lifted and I experience a moment of pure bliss.
I love my job and what I do. I struggle daily that my work isn’t mainstream enough to be completely understood; that the majority of people in my life don’t quite “get it”- say it’s not a “real job”. My job takes A LOT of energy and if you’re like me, a ton of emotion. I feel depleted often but I find it to be an affirmation that I am truly showing up to my calling in life. It’s been worth every twist and turn to get here. Every fumble is a lesson as I navigate this career path. But at least I know I’m finally on the right one.