A couple of weeks ago, I was asked to sub a Saturday morning yoga class at the same place I'm teaching during the week. I've taken to setting up my mat in what has become obviously opposite of where all the other teachers set up. It's a strategic move. The space has mirrors on most of the two walls of the room. If I set up opposite of those mirrors, then the student are facing away from them. Mirrors are distracting and they pull your focus off your mat and away from just feeling what is going on with your body. That Saturday morning, I walked into the room and started setting up my spot for teaching. There were already a few mats down on the floor where some people had set up their space. My position put these mats on the front row.
One older gentleman stood over to the side doing some light stretches. He looked at me and asked "Are you subbing for Gina?" I smiled and replied "Yes. I'm your sub for the day." The man made a face and then started to grumble as he walked over to his mat. Then he dragged his mat away from the front of the room. He stayed though. It was a big class and consisted of mostly the Silver Sneakers crowd. After class was over, several students came up to me to tell me just how much they enjoyed my teaching. One woman even asked if I was teaching any where else. I watched that older gentleman out of the corner of my eye as he rolled up his mat and then left. I hoped that I hadn't made the class too unpleasant for him. He had been so displeased that I was there instead of the teacher he was used to. So you can image how surprised I was to see him show up for my Wednesday class and then again for this last Wednesday evening class. In fact he was my only student on Wednesday and we had a great class together.
Even though I only had one student in my class that night, I left there giving myself a little fist pump and a "YES!" because I had won over this older gentleman enough to keep him coming to my classes. These classes I'm teaching have had some pretty variable attendance from thirty students one day to one student the next. It's new to the schedule and the weather has been terrible. Getting a class established takes time. I am not upset when I end up with only one student. I am also getting used to this new schedule and getting back into a habit of writing down a class that can be adapted depending on the kind of students that show up. I am getting used to the pacing of a class and at times I feel at a loss of descriptive words. I'm a bit rusty or at least I feel a bit rusty at all of this. I am grateful for the validation that I'm doing this well. I am grateful for those moments while I'm teaching when I feel strong and confident. At some point during the class something will just shift into place and suddenly I will be all "Yeah...I totally know what I'm doing." Which is something I can't always say with confidence in other parts of my life.
I am thankful for above freezing temperatures. I am thankful for small but mighty dogs. I am thankful for my yoga practice. I am thankful for you.