This morning I woke early. I drove to Kenny's to share some time and coffee. I drove because it was 10 degrees outside and I didn't care to walk the mile in freezing weather. After my morning coffee, I drove back home, gathered my yoga mat, and struck out (this time on foot) for the neighborhood yoga studio, Liberation Nashville.
A young lady was at the desk. I'd met her months prior at a yoga teacher training workshop, in which I was the subject of adjustment practice (I know, right? Me getting a string of adjustments from a slew of teachers?). Her name is Paquita. She lead us through the poses this morning.
As it happens, this was her very first public teaching appearance. She told the class, the 6:00 am class, that this was her first time to actually teach a class on her own. She was nervous. I'm not passing any judgement. I've been there in front of a group of yogis, expectant yogis, looking to be lead through the poses. It's not anywhere near as easy as it looks. (If you've never lead a class, you should try it. It's nerve-wracking at best. Terrifying at worst.)
Well, Paquita did a fantastic job. She muscled her way through the rookie jitters. She stammered a few times, "Did I just say left side?" But she muscled her way through. At the end of the class, the entire studio broke into spontaneous applause.
Everybody has to start somewhere. In yoga there's a saying: Start where you are. If you happen into a class being led by a newbie, be patient with them. Give them support. Give them some love. It's really no where near as easy as it looks. Let them start where they are. Let them learn. Let them learn through their, inevitable, flubs.
I've taken classes from seasoned veterans who totally got mixed up on sides and sequences. I've watched rock-star instructors let their egos get the best of them. I've seen peaceful yogis get frustrated and confused in front of a full class.
Today, I watched a first timer gracefully lead a class through a wonderful sequence. I hope to see her in the front of the studio again soon.