Feeling: LIKE A YOGA TEACHER
1. I just had my first class teaching.
By fuck, was I nervous last night. A little bit beside myself for sure. I was running through my sequence over and over in my undies (would be settling then suddenly spring up for a repeat), and when I went to bed I slept with my notes under my pillow. As I set off to sleep however, I rationalised it for myself.
You’re teaching the seated, supine and shavasana part of a class in India, not competing in the Olympics. (How the fuck does The Pedaller do it? He has Road Worlds in Norway next week, and I just cannot comprehend how he keeps so calm and composed. Whatever that ability is, I’m lacking). If you screw up, you screw up; you’re learning, you’re not expected to absolutely rock it first go.
I had a quick (ok, very long winded) word to my Nanna and surprisingly, fell asleep straight away.
And I woke up feeling calm. Collected. I might even go as far to say confident. I went up to pranayama and engaged in the practice, rather than sitting fretting about the following. Then when 8.30am hit, I was up in the studio and set to go.
Priyanka was on warm up and standing, Sabina was on back bends and inversions, then it was me as the third of the trio with the sitting and such. I must admit I did have a moment during Sabina’s part where I did freak out, and had to duck outside for another word with Nanna Helen.
Then it was my time. I plastered on a smile and declared, “Right! Tag teaming Poppy in.”
And along with the laughs, away I went.
I told myself beforehand that rather than treat it as though I was teaching a bundle of bendy females who had been at it for a fair few years, I’d act as though I was just taking someone I knew for a casual session. Before I came away to India I went round and had a one-on-one with a sort-of-family-sort-of-my friend called Rachael. It had been in having that little stretch sesh with her that made me know I wanted to definitely teach yoga, so I decided the best way to approach this test would be imagining I was taking her through the sequence.
As it happened, I had no need to.
Once I started, I just went. That somewhat bossy tendency of mine came out to play, and I could see on Martinet’s face she was quite shocked to see this forthright and knowledgable yoga teacher, rather than the somewhat sometimes frazzled girl of the past few weeks gone by.
And – excuse the lack of humbleness here – I nailed it. Well and truly came away happy with the class I gave. I was confident and in my element, knew my material and know I really impressed Martinet and the Asian girls when I slipped in a bit of Chinese instruction (they all exclaimed and giggled when I did so, then lots of them came up to me after class, congratulated me and said my use of Mandarin was marvellous). And I saw a handful of the girls hurriedly scribbling down the sequence I’d come up with, which was a lovely hoist up of the old ego.
On the way out of the studio I stopped and offered up a word to the sky and to Nanna Helen.
(Just to clarify; I don’t do these things in full sight of anyone else. No one sees me wandering about having a chat with empty spaces or anything).
Before the class I promised myself that if I got through it, I would reward me with a new packet of felt pens. (Reading this over: what kind of 26-year-old uses a deluxe set of Faber Castells as an award? Shouldn’t I be promising myself a bottle of vodka or to get my nails done?). Because it went as well as I could’ve hoped, I ended up adding 10 blue pens to the mix. (Oh, what an indulgence).
In theory following, Martinet gives feedback. Even though I was feeling super breezy, a little part of me jumped up in apprehension. But she smiled – it could only be said to be a sun-shining-beam – at me and said, “And look, so confident and capable to take a class.” Then proceeded to tell Priyanka and Sabina a few things they had done wrong, turning to me with a smile, then back to the class and moving onto philosophy.
Nothing. Nothing that I’d fucked up or needed to improve on.
I was ecstatic. (Granted in class she did tell me once that I was using the wrong leg. So it wasn’t perfect by any means).
And now? I’m fizzing and frothing and loving all things yoga teaching. I feel like I do deserve the title.
(Lyndal just told me I teach exactly like Martinet, and that throughout my class she saw Martinet nodding her head as I instructed. “You’re her little prodigy,” Lyndal said. Feck; is that good or bad?).
(Insert: out on the vods with the group and one of the Asian girls complemented me on my class. “I was a bit bossy,” I laughed. “You little boss,” she said. “Like Martinet.” FUCK).
2. In theory class yesterday, Martinet started talking about when she first started teaching yoga. I pressed her on a bit as I was keen to find out more background.
“What made you decide to do it?” I enquired.
“I was fed up,” she said. “I had two kids, two cats, an Egyptian husband and a Moroccan lover. I went to Nepal and decided I would never return to the West.”
I absolutely loved her description of her life. I mean, and Egyptian hubby and an affair with a Moroccan man? How so exotic.
3. In adjustment class yesterday, Priyanka and I partnered up as per. She’s very flexible in her hips, and on one wee contortion when I was pulling and pushing she didn’t react at all.
“Can you feel any sensation at all?” I asked, upside down and all inside myself trying to bring one about.
“Hmmmm. I can feel you stepping on my love handle?” She said.
I had to go outside and fake a coughing fit I found it so funny.
And 4. (It’s a short spiel today).
Theory class has gotten extremely tedious. While the first week I was hungrily noting down anything Martinet uttered, I’ve found now the info is not so rich as to need my full attention. So I have been utilising the time to write Yoga blog posts and do my homework.
However as of the last few days the wifi on the third floor has not been working. Thus researching and what not has been an inability. I was telling the boys on reception of the conundrum, when one of them beckoned me close and furtively slipped me a piece of paper.
“Keep this to only you,” he said. “Don’t tell anyone.”
No he hadn’t just handed me illicit drugs for a rager – it was the secret super fast wifi details so I could log on and be on my way.
The universe works in wonderful ways.
One more asana class tonight then tomorrow marks a day off. You’d think I’d be pumped for a day yoga free – I’m actually going to pop over to the yoga school for a morning class, just to see my friend Manoj and have a bit of a break from vinyasa. And from 9am?
Who knows mate. I’ve made absolutely NO plans. (Apart from maybe seeing my friend Rajesh. But that totally doesn’t count).
And after class tonight? Going out with a mix of the Asian girls and my Westerner pals. Some vodka may possibly be involved.