Going into yoga school, I was asked to host a yoga class through my work. With only a couple weeks of training under my belt and having never taught anyone other than friends yoga, I was scared silly. Not to mention I was in the middle of moving. Nonetheless I spent hours pouring over manuals, practicing sequencing, filling note page after note page with just how I wanted my class to go. My intention, the flow, each pose was broken down to hand placement, breath work, cues, adjustments, variation, modification, the transition and breath work into the next pose. Everything was set out. I had my expectation of how the room was to be set up, and just what I would use to create the perfect class environment. I was prepared as much as a first time yoga teacher could be. The class was scheduled for Saturday morning. Thursday night I took out my final notes to finish preparing and reading my notes. Finally I set my notes aside as I began to get tired, and fell asleep for a few short hours. Before I knew it, my alarm was ringing and I rushed out the door to drive to Colorado Springs for work, a total of a 1.5 hour drive. Later that afternoon, I realized I left something very important in Denver – my perfectly planned class. I panicked. Do I drive a total of three hours to get my notes? Rewrite my class? I decided to rewrite it. Spending all night trying to remember my notes, rough stick figures replaced well thought and planned sequencing. I spent the night scribbling notes out, trying to make a semi usable lesson plan. I drifted off exhausted. The next morning I finished packing up my car and rushed over to my work to set up space and try and finish my lesson. I pulled out the box that I hoped contained my candles and salt lamps…no salt lamps…no candles… Next box…same same same same. I started to get frustrated. Where were my things that would be so helpful in creating space? After searching every box, and pretty much unpacking my car at my work’s parking lot, I finally found what I was looking for in the last box. I pulled out my candles…I was ready…now where was my lighter? No lighter. After a long search, a trip to the convenience store, and an extra large cup of coffee, I was grateful I had arrived two hours early, and rushed back to try and review my notes one more time. My heart was racing, hands shaking, quickened breath rasped out of my lungs, filling the air with a heavy energy. I skimmed my notes frantically. This was supposed to a be restorative yoga class. How come I was feeling completely spent? It was then I heard my teacher’s voice: “you set the space, you set the energy for everyone else to follow.” I realized then that I could have perfect (or imperfect) notes, beautifully set up space, or none at all… But all that didn’t matter. I had not done the work on me first. I was to set the energy. I had to teach, so I had to be the one prepared. I closed my note book, took a comfortable seat on my mat, and began to Breathe. 1..2..3… focus on your breath… 3…2…1 fill all the space in your belly as you inhale, fill ribs, chest and shoulders… exhale, reverse, chest, ribs, shoulders… 1..2…3…hold….3…2…1. And Just Breathe. Come back to your intention… letting go of expectation.
My first class went surprisingly well. It wasn’t perfectly planned, There were things I could have done better, but l learned a valuable lesson: Things don’t always go as planned and life gets crazy, but to set an intention, I have to live an intention, and all the preparation in the world doesn’t do any good if I haven’t done the preparation in me.