The doors slowly slide open and the subtle scents of vanilla and jasmine are just barely noticeable. The room is warm, but not too warm, and there is a mat rolled out—one that isn’t mine. On the mat is a man I don’t know. My heart jumps into my throat as I slowly close the doors behind me, leaving the rest of the world to wait for the two of us.
I introduce myself and the class: just a simple, free yoga class open to anyone and everyone. We begin. Noticing sensations, feeling. Then the intention. Being. Just be; whatever is coming up right now, in this moment, just be. The breath comes next, pranayama. Inhaling and exhaling so deliberately, so consciously. And my heart is pounding through it all. We begin to move and I start to come into the flow. As we move together, the atmosphere changes. I no longer feel nervous, I am no longer worried about the sequence, I am just being. We created a beautiful practice together, he and I, by Being. Just like our intention.
Being. This is the intention I chose for my first ever yoga class, and it was lovely. Not because I had a horde of students; I didn’t. And not because the class went smoothly; it didn’t. Because I was able to offer the space for myself and my students to just be. Nothing to do, nothing to achieve, nothing to fret over or perfect. Just being.
And thank goodness for that first intention—it set the state for all of my yoga classes to come. Not only did the intention allow my student to let go, it allowed me to let go. I was just able to be a teacher. Every Saturday I began to see more and more mats on the floor every time I opened that door. More faces looking out at me, ready to move and play and Be. No expectations, no judgments.
And that’s what we did, what we still do. The classes are now on Wednesday’s and I am not the only teacher who participates, but the intention and the space remains the same. Just a simple, free yoga class open to anyone and everyone.