Let’s talk about my first Yoga class over the weekend. My inclination is to not talk about it, but since this bloggles is sort of my life memoirs, my hope is that someday I’ll be happy I swallowed my pride and documented the milestone.
The gist of the story is that… well…. I survived. I thought it would go much better, which we’ll get to, but in the 2 days since I’ve chilled out a lot more and realized that hey, it happened, we did Yoga, people inhaled when I told them to inhale and exhaled when I told them to exhale (which for the most part alternated in a proper way), and I saw a lot of pink sweaty faces gazing back at me in the room, so I know that Yoga did indeed happen. We savasana-ed, we Om-ed, I left them with a nugget of Sanskrit wisdom, we went home. It wasn’t just me up there talking gibberish like the Swedish Chef while people confusedly looked on with Pug Head Tilts before I started sobbing and bolted for the exit. Which I guess would constitute a true train wreck of a first class. So, I did exceed that metric, which should count as some degree of success for my very first maiden teaching voyage, right!?
Here’s the thing about my existence. And I’ve talked about this here before, and of course if you know me it comes as no surprise, but generally I run around like headless poultry just trying to keep up with life. Part of this complex is that I am never giving due attention or preparation to important things, always throwing things together at the last-minute and “winging it.” And it’s a terrible feeling, all those times in my life where I went into everything from a beam routine to a final exam to a job interview to even the dentist, bracing myself for impending disaster because I once again, with no good excuse, failed to adequately practice/study/research/floss.
But the thing is… it always works out! I always expect COMPLETE failure only to be pleasantly surprised that I stayed on the beam! I got an A! They offered me the job! And “Beautiful teeth… keep doing what you’re doing!” Uhh, you mean only flossing on the 12 days preceding my visits with you? OKAY!
I did the opposite and took the time to prepare well for my class. Mostly because on anything else that I procrastinated on, worst case scenario was that I embarrassed or dis-serviced myself. That I can deal with, but the thought of letting down a group of people with expectations and valuable time was not acceptable. So, I carefully crafted it, scripted it, rehearsed it, thought I could do it in my sleep, and had this crazy, rare feeling of being ready and prepared.
So now I had the opposite mentality. For once I did what all the motivational speakers and life experts say you should do, and I visualized success! Thought positive! Believed in myself! If I always ended up doing OK even when I was unprepared, imagine how well things would go if I actually worked at it! This was gonna be epic! I was going to be James Van Der Beek leading the West Canaan coyotes to victory! Wars would cease, water would become wine, the blind would see! Humans all around the world would weep at the sheer beauty of…. Sarah Becker’s Yoga class!
Umm, CHEA. Instead humans were subjected to two triangle poses on the same side. (Among other assorted blunders). WHOOPSIE DAISY.
So then I felt crushed when I didn’t live up to the perfection I had set myself up for. Then, my mind just went wackadoo. Did it only feel terrible because my expectations were so high? Did all those other things just feel successful because my expectations were low? Were my mistakes just garden variety mistakes that any first time teacher would make or indicative of an underlying lack of teaching talent?! Was it truly as awful as I thought or was I being unreasonably difficult on myself? Am I the dunce of my class!? Would I ever work in this town again?!?! Cue hyperventilation.
Again, I’ve realized since that my thoughts weren’t the most rational that had ever paid a visit to my conscience. I’ve calmed down with the help of a few things….
1. On Sunday morning, so after my ill-fated performance but right before our class reconvened for the first time since, I caught a bit of Forgetting Sarah Marshall which we had from the library. I had watched it earlier in the week but somehow missed an entire scene where they go to a Yoga class!
Jason Segal’s head stand schtick CRACKED me up. I honestly felt like discovering this scene I somehow missed was some sort of small consolation from above. (Fist bump, God).
2. Over the weekend we also had a guest instructor teaching us, a woman who seriously knows everything about everything about Yoga and bodies. Like, just a total pro. She told us that the beginning of her teaching career was a “horrible and terrible” experience and that she was so paralyzed with nervousness that she, today, has literally no memory of those 1-2 years. Not that I’m delighting in her past misery, but it did comfort me that maybe someday I can look back at how far I’ve come since the day I… you know… put people into triangle twice on the same side.
3. The students did have to fill out little evaluations which we got back. Our teacher did collect these first so that she could screen out anything over-the-top critical, so I’m HOPING no censoring was required for mine, but whatever either way. Honestly I was expecting mine to just have skull and crossbones drawn on them. But, happily, surprisingly, everyone indicated they would be, to varying degrees, receptive to taking class from me again! Everyone with the exception of one crazy yahoo who said “not really,” but then gave me the highest rating for all the other questions. So, I at least did something right in their minds? I guess?
So, anyway, that was a REALLY long-winded way of walking you through my emotional world in the last couple days. Sorry. You’re welcome. I’m glad I told the story 🙂
Also, because I couldn’t possibly not document this for the record… The playlist!
Twilight Serenade, Jason Myles Goss
1963, Rachel Yamagata
Jack Straw, Grateful Dead
Soolaimon, Neil Diamond
Brighter Than the Sun, Colbie Caillat
ET, Katy Perry
I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues, Elton John
Fins, Jimmy Buffett
Dog Days Are Over, Florence + The Machine
Love of Our Lives, Indigo Girls
Be Careful, Patty Griffin
Thought I Had Died, The War
Phew. Dear God. The End.