My Teachers

WITH YOU I BREATHE: A Forty Day Yoga Column

#6: My Teachers

A couple of students thanked me after class and said they liked the class, I said, Thank you. I’m glad you liked it. I wanted also to say, This is my first ever yoga class I taught. I haven’t even taught to friends or anything. But I did not talk about myself, not because I did not think they’d want to hear it, not because I did not think they’d like to hear that fact, but because I wanted to keep the focus on them.  In fact, during class, I talked very little. I gave instructions, guided them with breathing, and often said, Now continue at your own pace.

While developing the sequence for the class and practicing the sequence, I felt nervous and wanted very much to do a good job. I did not get in the way of myself. Mostly, I kept remembering that although this first class was a milestone for me, what the class also was–and more importantly, I think–when it came down to it, was a Tuesday evening class for the people who showed up. That is to the say: the class was not about me, the class was about the students.

I did my best to create a space where students focused on their breath and their internal reality. I held a space of acceptance and encouragement and safety. The space was quiet, no music and dim lighting and I encouraged them to close their eyes during most poses. I wanted the students to breathe deeper, I wanted the studentd to rest, I wished them happiness and wished them peace. At the end of class, I told them, something that my teacher used to say at the end of class. I said, Thank you for showing up to your practice and thank you for being my teachers.

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