milestone: teaching my first yoga class

My Kundalini Yoga practicum – teaching a ‘real’ class at our studio – took place last week. All trainees in my program taught over a 3-day Yoga-thon, me being placed in what I considered the least desirable spot – late Sunday afternoon. As someone who likes to get things over with, it was somewhat agonizing to wait around all weekend for my class to begin!

On one level, I wasn’t at all nervous about teaching. There was nothing to fear; I’d done all I could to prepare and I knew I’d be in a supportive environment. I didn’t have to be perfect. I’d never done this before!

But on another level, there was everything to fear. I could sense my ego kicking into overdrive, anticipating all that could go wrong. I knew the havoc this could wreak, so I took advantage of my extra time that Sunday morning and let myself fully feel all my nerves and anxiety. As if I had an internal dial, I turned all the uncomfortable sensations up to ‘Intense’.

Yup, I look pretty happy up there!

Yup, I look pretty happy up there!

The usual suspects turned up. Humiliation. What if I panicked on the spot, forgetting everything I’d memorized, and getting my notes all mixed up? Pride. I was afraid of losing face. I feared the pity of others – or their secret satisfaction – if I failed. (That’s a fun one to admit!) Shame. I feared being exposed as a fraud, an imposter. The list goes on. Ultimately, I feared failing God.

I knew this wasn’t just about the yoga class. These fears are deeply embedded in the human psyche. In such states we can’t access the knowing that we are eternal and infinite, fundamentally unaffected by whatever ego construes as danger. I prayed for humility, trust, self-compassion…and to have fun!

In true Mercury Retrograde fashion, there was an element of ‘expect the unexpected’. The trainee scheduled before me had become ill, and I was asked to teach her class as well. Two classes in a row?! I did not see that coming. I swear I could hear Yogi Bhajan chuckling in the ethers. Surrender.

And – things went well. It was a wee bit distracting to have my lead trainer evaluating me in the back of the room, taking copious notes throughout both classes…but the time flew by and I was provided wonderful feedback that bolstered my confidence and helped me see where I can improve. To be honest, once I got up there, things felt quite un-dramatic! I don’t recall my heart pounding as furiously as it had during my practice sessions. Yes, there were nerves – but it mostly felt comfortable and natural.

That’s not say it wasn’t a big deal. I’d accomplished a goal I’d dreamed about for years. This was a huge step!

Some passions are so obvious that we’re certain of them from a young age. Others, like my yoga journey, are more subtle and reveal themselves over time. Those dreams often take years of cultivation before they germinate. Even if feels like ‘nothing’s happening’, on some level, we know exactly what we’re doing. The dream itself wants to ensure we’re ready to receive and take good care of it. It deserves the best ‘us’ we can bring to it. And so, we have to prepare.

I’m not quite finished my training – I still have a final exam and another training session to complete – but regardless of what my Kundalini future brings, in my book, I’ve already succeeded.

***

On another note, I LOVE that this is my 108th post! 108 is a sacred number in yogic tradition, and this seems like a fitting opportunity to thank everyone who reads, follows, and comments on this blog. It is such a blessing to connect with, and learn from, you all. Thank you!

Sat Nam. Truth is my identity.

47 thoughts on “milestone: teaching my first yoga class

  1. Pingback: vancouver beauty | alohaleya

  2. Congratulations, Aleya! I recognize those feelings you shared about… Such a wonderful thing to realize– yes, the jungle is full of tigers– BUT, they are on our team… 🙂 We simply have to become tigers, too. Ha! A truly radiant photo and a moment of truth that spreads through all of us… I loved the same passage Linda highlighted, too. It is a beautiful recognition of the dance we have with the wisdom of Life.

    Peace
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Michael for your very kind and insightful comment. It has been wonderful to share this part of my journey here. I taught another class a few days ago and the tigers showed up again. But somehow they didn’t feel so dominating. 😉 Namaste, Aleya

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay! 108 was sacred in Gnostic Teachings as well, we were taught we had 108 lifetimes to become self-aware. I don’t know about all that?

    Congrats sister girl, I am so proud of you. I have to tell you I was chuckling out loud as I read Mercury Retrograde of back to back classes, priceless.

    Me going through similar last final was yesterday, I got 214 out of 200 gotta love it, and I am graduating from community college with honors, on Friday. Who coulda thunk it? lol

    Sorry I have been a bad blog buddy. Love ya!

    Namaste
    Sindy

    Liked by 2 people

  4. So absolutely fabulous well done! I loved reading about this experience too because I’ve been experiencing all the feelings of fear (fearing the feelings of humiliation, shame, brain chatter etc) and trying to lean into them so you mirrored some of the stuff thats up there for me right now. And you did it!!! You did it!!! You did and are doing all the things that are frightening but that move you forward. Go you! Congratulations on this and on the blog :)Sophie x x x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ahhh Sophie thank you! Yeah those voices that come up aren’t so pretty! But I’m learning to give them their time of day… and then do whatever they don’t want me to do. The more I know they’re not really me, the easier it is to sink into them and make them more conscious. So many layers to this. I’m so glad you saw a mirror here. We can move through all those doubts my dear! Much love to you! ❤ Aleya

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  5. Nice that this became #108, Aleya. Kudos on your having grown so much in and with your new teaching passion. The ego mind is so good and instilling if not embedding fear. Having battled it for years, I have an acute awareness of what challenged you. If I may, unsolicited, share a simple consideration, you may find it useful: When those inner voices rear (and they are often ego based) I have learned to simply acknowledge them, thank ego for interjecting, and then send it off. It’s an intentional dismissal but only after I acknowledge who/what is presenting. It’s in my power and it is my choice. Wishing you continued success with your teaching journey!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful words of wisdom indeed, Eric. Resisting the ego’s voices doesn’t work too well; as you say, it needs to be acknowledged. In my experience so much of its ‘power’ comes from my not being consciously aware of it, letting it silently run the show. And then – chaos! I think calling it out before my class helped with my nerves… I experienced its worst case scenarios with my mind – and realized that none of it was true.

      Over time it gets easier to acknowledge its fearful thoughts and move past them. It’s a tricky bugger isn’t it!! 🙂 Thank you! Aleya

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  6. Congratulations Aleya! You look great up there 🙂 Funny about having to teach 2 classes, Yes, I am familiar with the unexpected.

    I especially appreciate this passage:

    Some passions are so obvious that we’re certain of them from a young age. Others, like my yoga journey, are more subtle and reveal themselves over time. Those dreams often take years of cultivation before they germinate. Even if feels like ‘nothing’s happening’, on some level, we know exactly what we’re doing. The dream itself wants to ensure we’re ready to receive and take good care of it. It deserves the best ‘us’ we can bring to it. And so, we have to prepare.

    Namaste,

    Linda

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Linda. This seed was planted many years ago but I can see how, just even a year ago, I was not ready. I had to clean up a few things in my life before I could even begin the training. It’s so obvious to me now. I know that there are more dreams brewing but for now I’m enjoying this achievement. And yeah, the two classes…oh I was exhausted at the end. But of course too wired to sleep! 😀 Namaste, Aleya

      Liked by 5 people

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