As some of you may already know, I landed my first teaching job at Melt Hot Fitness here in Columbus. I have been going to this studio for almost the past year, mainly taking the yoga bosu ball classes (I swear by this class and credit it to drastically improving my handstands! Holy shoulder workout!). There are also barre classes, workout classes, and spinning classes, all taken in 85-99 degree heat. Let me tell you – you sweat. A lot. And if you are looking for an amazing workout, this is the place to go. MHF is expanding the classes, adding in Budokon and fast-paced heated yoga classes to the schedule.
Lucky for me, I was able to snag the Sunday morning yoga class – exciting, but also super terrifying! You see, ever since I got back from my yoga teacher training, I felt a little bit lost. A sense of feeling of, what’s next? I practiced teaching friends and family yoga classes at my apartment, but never an entire class to more than 2 people. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the route of private yoga lessons, or begin auditioning at studios to teach. Insert: MHF. It only made sense to teach at this studio, since I practice there about once a week already. And normally, when you vibe with a studio, that’s the place you should be!
While I was taught a very specific power yoga flow in my training, I am now actually creating my own classes now, catering to what feels right to me and putting together my own flows. Don’t get me wrong – I use what I learned as a base, and it is extremely handy in falling back on when putting together my classes. However, being able to teach my own class has taught me to be more creative and to think outside of the box. It’s so incredibly different and a bit scary, but I already feel like I have been able to grow in my own practice by trusting myself to create powerful and unique classes.
Unfortunately, when you start teaching, there is always that awkward phase – uncertainty, nervousness, lack of confidence, fear of messing up, etc. Until you really begin to teach classes, there are a lot of emotions that come up. For me, I know that I can always fall back on my basic yoga sequence learned at my training in case I forget in the middle of a class. However, I am terrified of speaking in front of people. And when I say people. I mean 5 or more people. So, showing up to my first ever yoga class on Sunday, I stood in front of 35+ people, all ready for me to start leading them in class. So. to say the least, I was a bit nervous. This is nothing I have ever done before. I’ve given speeches, presentations, etc in college. But never to this many people, and never for longer than 15 minutes.
I think my biggest fear is the dharma talk at the beginning. I feel like I have a lot of things to say, but I never know how to say it right, or at least on the spot. And this is one thing that I know will come with time – learning to speak from my heart. It’s easy for me to sit down when emotions come up and write a quick blurb or a poem, but never on the fly, and never, ever while standing wide-eyed in front of a crowd of people. Fortunately, I was able to say a few quick words at the beginning of class – nothing life changing, nothing super deep – but I did it. It was intimidating and scary… but I.did.it. And I know when something scares me, it is something that I need to do. It’s always an opportunity for growth – and if I never face a fear – I will continue to let it fester in me, (the thought that I CREATED, and is really nothing to even be afraid of!!) filling my mind with unnecessary anxiety and stressing me out.
This has been a huge step for me – facing a fear – and even though I still have my concerns and residual fears about teaching again, I know it is slowly fading away. I already feel a sense of confidence replacing that old doubt, erasing worries that now seem so silly.
So for all you yoga teachers out there – how did YOU feel teaching your first class? What were your biggest fears? And how long did it take for you to feel comfortable teaching a class?
If you have reached the end of this loooong blog post, thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for taking the time out of your day, and thank you for caring. Life can be a long, scary ride, but I love that there are people out there (AKA YOU!) that genuinely care. This journey has been a bit of a roller coaster, and I am so incredibly grateful to be able to share this with even just 1 person!
Lots of love,