Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 18: Power!

Hump day! Somehow things are always a bit brighter at the end of Wednesday – but my Wednesday was great, so I’m doubly lucky.

We started out with class taught by Lisa, who owns Bikram Yoga on the Strip in Las Vegas; it was our third class in a row by a visiting teacher – all of whom have been stellar, excited and challenging. Her class was energetic and engaging, and I held up just fine in it. Morning classes are not my favorite, really, but they are a little less (seemingly) hot, and I don’t push myself to my limits knowing I’ve got another class later in the day so I don't often hit a point of thorough frustration.

In striking contrast to that, the 5 p.m. class was taught by (surprise!) Craig. He walked in and jaws dropped and the mood shifted dramatically - I think we had a notion that he only taught on Saturday mornings. Well, he had on “serious face” and proceeded to teach a disciplined, ass-kicking class. Again, I had a really good practice – but the difference was incredible in the vibe, tone and approach between the morning and evening classes. I liken it to going to Gramma’s for the weekend, and then coming home and being told “No more sugar cereal for you little girl! Now you have to go and do your chores and homework.” Tough love, discipline – and all for your own good, in return for the little bit of letting loose/fun you just had. That’s part of what I am here for too, to learn and appreciate my ability to discipline myself, work hard and commit to what is important to me. Though I was cursing Craig during one of the Savasanas, tearing up in Triangle because my foot would not stop slipping and I was doing a near-split and feeling exceedingly frustrated, I loved the class. Loved it. (Especially once it was over...truth be told.)

The other big excitement today was delivering the 1st part of Awkward pose. It went well, and I got very positive feedback and am starting to feel a modicum of confidence in my potential ability to teach. With that, the proctor, Diane from Boston, who went through training 14 years ago, was fantastic – she took questions, gave insight into the posture, and did a great job of keeping it real. For me, though, she also was like a little angel who showed up to remind me of one of the main reasons I am here....

After delivering my dialogue, she said that I was holding back. I got the same thing yesterday – and really, I’m feeling rather enthusiastic in my delivery so I was surprised both times. So I explained, “I don’t want to be all cheerleader like and too peppy and annoying.” She said, “Um, no that isn’t what you’re afraid of. You’re afraid of your own power. Of being powerful.” To which I replied, “Did you talk to my therapist before posture clinic??” (It did get a good chuckle).

What a fantastic reminder for me. One of my biggest fears of doing this training is the idea of being up on that box and being that important in people’s lives. I have had many career aspirations that I’ve abandoned due to the fear of being too important, of screwing something up and ruining an experience for someone. She nailed me: I do fear being powerful. In this particular case, I fear being trusted to do it right by a room full of yogi’s who I know have planned their whole day (time, food, clothes, logistics) around making it to their precious, 90-minutes of “me time” that I could potentially send right down the shitter!

The thing I realize, though, is that really – and it is my new mantra – what is the worst that could happen? I leave you in the 2nd part of Awkward pose for 2 minutes like Craig does to us? Or, I forget a set – likely to be reminded by the students that it’s not time to move on yet? Or, God forbid – someone simply put, doesn’t like my class. And again, if that were the case, what is the worst thing? They go to another studio? They tell their friends I suck? Even if they did, how (really, in the scheme of life) does that impact me in a meaningful way? Indeed, it doesn’t.

For my next postures, I’m going to focus on bringing the power, owning my job and responsibility of teaching the class, and not fearing the notion that I may (er, I mean will) not be perfect….
Pix for today: Posture clinic practicing in the early morning; My latest backbend; And pics from Class #26 and #27. Please excuse the inner-thigh flab in the first one, it's leftover former-fat-girl baggage. Still, I liked the pic a lot!


Leah said...

Pardon the long comment, but I've been reading you for a while, and your thoughts on posture clinic today reminded me of a poem. I thought it was by Nelson Mandela, but apparently it's not - he read it in a speech. I hope it inspires you as much as it has me. (Sounds like our therapists would say similar things about you and me - ha!)

Our Deepest Fear
By Marianne Williamson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.
Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us;
It's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we're liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Kim H. said...

I wanted to tell you that I think the picture that shows a little bit of your former self is my favorite - it shows a glimpse of how far you've come to get to this training. :-)

thedancingj said...

YAY, I'm glad you enjoyed Diane - I missed her this week but clearly her help was was needed somewhere else. She is amazing. :)

Julia said...

My cube neighbor Andrew say you got some serious abs!! You Go!!!