Extra Extra, read all about it! Wayward Yogini finally teaches her first yoga class! Get the story here!
This reporter was lucky enough to catch up with Sue on her first day teaching at The Healing Shala in Cool, CA. Between classes, we were able to sit together at Cool Beerwerks (amazing sushi, not to mention the beer) on the corner of 49 and 193, discussing the trials and tribulations of becoming a yoga teacher at the age of 64.
Haha, no reporter interviewing me, and much sadder, I wasn’t enjoying that amazing sushi that Cool Beerwerks serves. Still, nonetheless, I was feeling incredibly proud of my 64-year old self to pursue and persevere with this goal of mine. For those who haven’t followed my blog Tales of a Wayward Yogini for the last two years, the quick version goes like this.
I had been devoting much time to my elderly mother for many years. After her passing a few years back, I made a promise to myself to devote the following year to regaining my health.
I returned to a love of mine, yoga. And somewhere in the following few months, I began to tell Rick I wanted to become a yoga teacher in our little town, putting one of the many vacant storefronts in town to good use. It was just a pleasant fantasy, but what I was serious about was getting back in shape. The studio I began practicing at had a yoga teacher training class scheduled the following February. Perfect. I figured regardless of whether I ever became a teacher, the class would provide a jump-start for this aging, somewhat neglected senior body.
While I wasn’t clear at the beginning of the class whether I would ever teach, by the end, I did see my path, and it did include teaching yoga. I had some hurdles, though. I was starting a new job, which took priority because, oh yeah, it was paying my bills. Most jobs take about a year to hit your stride, and this job was no different. So I took any pressure to start teaching yoga right off my plate! Boom… gone!
But… in my quiet moments, I often wondered if I was just making excuses because I was afraid to take that leap, and expose my soft underbelly (one of my favorite expressions). Even though I took yoga off my plate, I still definitely gave myself some grief over the subject of teaching. In the end, I told myself that I had legitimate reasons for waiting: 1) I was learning my new job, 2) I was working on my blog as well as my upcoming book, and 3) I was simply afraid. They were all excellent reasons.
Remember the vacant storefront windows in Cool I mentioned earlier? Well, seems another yoga enthusiast Jennifer had similar thoughts. And while I worked on securing employment and writing, she did what I would have liked to do. She remodeled one of them, creating a sweet little yoga studio. She was even kind enough to select colors and styles I like, new laminate flooring, soft subtle colors, and the cutest sliding door.
I found it about six months ago. I attended a class, even spoke with Jennifer about doing karma classes on Saturdays to get started, and then I disappeared without a trace. Apparently, I wasn’t ready yet. I let that be okay.
About a month ago, I decided it was time to find some yoga teachers close to home. I love returning to the studio I trained at, but it’s an hour’s drive, and I just can’t manage that often enough. I studied the web and found a studio just down the road in Georgetown, a ten-minute drive down our country roads. I read up on the teachers and saw a woman Lynette that sounded like someone I would have a lot in common with. I made my way to Georgetown and then spent 20 minutes driving in circles. Turns out, the studio no longer exists.
But Lynette still exists thankfully, and I found that she was teaching at, you guessed it, the new little Cool studio. I was there the following Monday to attend her restorative yoga class, and again the Monday after that. By the end of my second class, I had a plan in mind of teaching a second restorative class at the studio to compliment her class. I happened to hear a student asking if there was another restorative yoga class during the week. There wasn’t. By the following week, we were sharing a glass of wine in Lynette’s kitchen. Just as I had somehow known when I read her bio, we found much in common. The following Monday night, I attended a meeting at the studio and committed to teaching my first yoga class beginning early April.
It was an interesting lesson for me. For two years, I have felt my reluctance had to do with fear. And it did. But after seeing how easy this went together for me, I realize that my hesitation had more to do with finding the right fit, which was a lesson about trusting myself.
I of course manipulated a few months to get ready committing to April 3rd, can you blame me? And Lynette, somehow already my cohort, changed that up on me and asked if I could sub for her earlier than that so she could go visit her ailing 90-year old father. Really? How could I say no?
So there you have it, I subbed for her and taught my first two classes. It was actually lovely. I had five students in the first class, which for Cool, is pretty good. I thought transparency was a good thing, especially in yoga, so I admitted to them it was my first class. They all rallied around me. So sweet.
The drive to class, though, was thought-provoking. I had somewhat luckily calmed my nerves. But on that 10-minute drive, I felt like I had put on someone else’s clothing. More accurately I felt like I was in a very uncomfortable costume. It was a palpable feeling. I didn’t feel afraid so much as just uncomfortable. The saying “uncomfortable in your own skin” fit perfectly. I tried to shake it off without much success, but before I knew it, I was at The Healing Shala, and the feelings would need to take a backseat. It was time to teach.
The following night when I was supposed to be sleeping, I was instead writing this post in my mind during the wee morning hours. It was only then that I could take the time to process those feelings. Anything new feels uncomfortable. And it stays uncomfortable for a while. But there comes that day when you own it. Your body no longer feels the anxiety. Your brain stops second-guessing your every move, and you rock it.
I’m looking forward to that one day.
Thinking about hashtags for my pics on Instagram, I’m thinking #whatageistooold? #64onherwaytorockin’it and #plentyoftimeGodwilling. Positive thoughts welcome on April 3rd.