For the last few years, I have chosen an intention word for the year. 2013 was momentum. 2014 was assured. And for 2015? I chose respond.
I had allowed several opportunities to pass. Because I was lazy or scared. I am starting to respond to the needs of my body and I want that to continue. I just want to pay attention to what is out there for me and respond.
I wanted to start that in a big way. I had talked to the director of Nathan's dance studio a few times about holding a yoga class there. And after looking at a draft of a text for several days, she and I talked about it. And this was born.
I am sitting here crying from joy as I write this. I am just so loved.
Yesterday morning, Nathan opened up the studio for us. It was a difficult decision for me, but I decided I didn't want him in the class. I was afraid that I'd teach to him. That he would just put my emotions over the top. He was right there with me up until I started class. Being the welcoming committee. Chatting everybody up. That man is why I'm here, friends.
Miranda came down from Cincinnati. She was the only person I had taught prior to this class (other than classmates at training). She was so fantastic for my nerves. I love this girl. All she wanted was to know what I needed and to be there to fill whatever it was. And, as usual, a good giggle pretty much filled me up.
There are no words for what happened. People just poured in. Friends I used to run with. Dancing friends I've grown to love through Nathan's experience. Dancers from the studio. A few relatives of friends. And Cassie. I may have lost my shit when she walked in. Actually, there's no may to it. I was just on the verge of the ugly cry. I gave so many hugs. So many people. So much happy.
32. THIRTY-TWO people. (We squeezed in 3 or 4 more after we took this picture.) My first class ever. There are no words for this, friends.
Part of me wants to be all self-deprecating and say that I was nervous and that it was awkward and that I don't know how I feel about doing it again. But all of that would be a lie.
I locked the front door. I sat on my mat. I opened my mouth. And I was home. (And I'm crying again.) It was the fastest hour+ I've spent in a long time. It was ease. I just felt like so many of the things that I have done brought me here. I see that my experience in so many seemingly unrelated areas come together to make me good at instructing yoga. (I'm sending a newsletter out Friday afternoon that talks a little more about this. You can sign up here.)
I feel like I have arrived. And it hit me in the first standing tree we did, maybe 15 minutes into the practice. I almost lost it again. So many friendly faces that I know and love. I stood in the front (and the side) of this room and just felt loved. So, so, so loved. And I also loved that I could tell them that. I could take a moment to get composed and then continue.
Thanks so much for taking this picture, Cassie. It means the world to me.
We did mostly standing poses. There were a few points where the playlist hit like BAM. The things I worried might be a smidge-too-hokey seemed to go over well (especially autumn tree). I led my favorite meditation. One that I've been teaching and practicing since I was doing therapy with kids 12 years ago. I sat in savasana with gratitude and prayer and maybe a few more tears.
Here we all are, sorority style. I am surrounded by friends. New and old. Local and traveling. This is where I belong.
Then the traveling bunch wrapped up the afternoon with pub food. My goodness, how cute is that baby. (Not pictured, my adorable Nathan and Cassie's adorable Craig. Because someone has to take the pictures.)
As much as the phrase is overused, I just can't even. I just can't. The words just don't come. My heart is full. My dreams are huge but non-specific. In a 24 hour period before and after this class, I had three conversations about opportunities to teach when I'm certified in May. My role is to evaluate and respond. I have laid the foundation. Now, I respond.
To those of you that made it to the class, I am sending you my sincerest gratitude. You brought an amazing start to my year. My friend Tatsiana told me yesterday that there's a Russian saying that talks about how the spirit and attitude that you begin the year in will set the tone for the rest of your year. I could not ask for a better spirit.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
A lot of my inspiration for writing the sequence for the class came from the work I did with Courageous Foundation. I believe that the connection I am building between my mind and my body allows me to bring that to others. I'd love to have you along for the January course. Six weeks of various kinds of activities - videos, audio meditations, yoga classes, journal prompts, google chats, facebook q&a. Lots of fun stuff where you'll learn to start listening to yourself. And truly responding. The program starts MONDAY, January 5. Click here for more information and to register.
Happy New Year, friends. My wish for you is to be aware. And respond.