It’s been an incredible few days, thus the very delayed posts.
Day 48 (Wednesday, September 18)
Sam Farrell and her band crooning at Regatta Bar.
I spent most of the day working on my sequence for Friday’s class at The Breathing Room. It was amazing to me how much easier it was to write the second one than the first. An entirely different process, really. As a reward for all of the yoga-sequence practicing that followed the writing of it, that night K. and I went to see my friend’s (the amazing Samantha Farrell) record release show at Regatta Bar, an awesome jazz club in Cambridge. (Speaking of which, if you haven’t heard of Sam, check her out–she’s sort of Billie-Holiday-ish, and just ridiculously talented … not to mention a complete sweetheart.) That night I had chosen between one of the Red Sox’s final regular season games and this show, because isn’t it always the case that everything happens at once. As a testament to Sam’s awesomeness, my date K. leaned over one song into Sam’s show and said, “F*ck the Red Sox.” When a Boston guy is saying that, you know the music is ridiculous. I actually won’t even try to put words to the event because it defies them–it was simply one of those musical experiences that lifts you up out of your own body and totally transports you into a world of harmonies and cellos and bass beats. Amazing.
Day 49 (Thursday, September 19)
I went in to work my second day of work-study at BBY and loved it even more than the first. It’s so simple, just sitting at the front desk, cleaning the mats, and general stuff like that. But the studio just has such a great vibe and everyone is so uber-friendly, it’s ridiculous. In the position I’m in now, having the opportunity to talk to people who are either in the midst of or who have had the same experiences as I am–going on their first auditions, teaching their first classes–is just incredibly wonderful. Despite the fact that I had a ton of work to do that evening, I actually stayed for a half hour after my shift ended just because I was so deeply engaged in conversation with other teachers.
It was a simple day, but sort of a watershed. I realized that, rather than sitting shyly in the corner in new situations (as I certainly would have done in work-study a few months ago), I’m now able to strike up conversations with people. And, you know what? Although this simple thing terrified and intimidated me just a few months ago, it’s really not that difficult and it opens up entirely new worlds. As I was walking home, I realized that more and more people smile at me on the street now, too. I just feel so much more open and able to embrace the world around me with delight and wonder, rather than fear and general insecurity. I flashed back to that first day of TT when Caitlyn told me that the entire process of training and starting to teach had not only cured her of her fear of public speaking, but also made her able to engage in social situations. I remember when she told me that, thinking what a miracle it would be if I could experience that, too. “That right there would be worth the $3,000 for TT,” I thought. Well, I think it’s starting to work and it just feels so incredibly wonderful.
Day 50 (Friday, September 20)
I woke up at 6:45 this morning (painful on two hours of sleep combined with the fact that I am not a morning person), and ran through my sequence for today’s class one more time before rushing off to the just-about-to-open Coolidge Corner Yoga, where the owner invited me to take part in a faux-class photo shoot for marketing, etc. I bought K.C. and KB from TT, neither of whom knew anyone else there. It was the three of us and a small gang of CCY teachers. First of all, the space in and of itself is incredible–light and airy and beautiful. Even the bolsters are this amazing sky-blue velvet material. It’s perfection. As soon as I walked through the door, everyone came up and introduced themselves with warmly greetings. Same thing with K.C. and KB when they arrived. It was just such a welcoming environment.
The shoot itself was very interesting. The photography specializes in yoga photography, and was calling out poses, essentially leading a class. There was so much joy in the room as we all stretched out to get ready with Eminem and “Moves Like Jagger” blaring in the background amidst conversation and laughter. Then we christened the room and the photo shoot with one of the teachers singing this beautiful chant. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. The owner, T., got emotional about the amazing group in the room and the fact that this would be the first class there ever. We ran through various poses, holding some of them for long periods of time while the photographer shot away.
They decided they wanted to do a shot of headstands. About half of the room cleared off of their mats. I was in a bit of a conundrum: I can go up in headstand perfectly well at home, but I tend to get jarred about it in studios and falter. I certainly didn’t want to mess up a shot while everyone else was holding their headstand. In the end, I decided to do it, albeit apprehensively. After one round of shots, the photographer came up and showed me the pictures he’d taken, telling me that I was piking slightly, and needed to make some minor adjustments. We went back up for a second round, as one of the teachers cued me to move the balls of my feet slightly up and to reach forward more through my core. (Amazing cues–crazy what those small things did.) After a couple of minutes, I had to come down. The photographer said he was going to do a third round. I told him I thought I should bow out so that he could get the shot and get it over with, without the threat of me coming down or piking. He insisted I stay, though, and so we did a third round and were done. As I came down, T. (who taught me how to headstand from ground zero beginning at the wall) told me how proud she was at how far I’d come. It was a really great, full circle moment.
I had to dash a bit early to rush over to my noon class at The Breathing Room. KB came with me while K.C. stayed with her new friends to continue shooting at CCY. Because the morning had been so jammed and so physical, I didn’t really have time to get nervous or think about my class before arriving at The Breathing Room. Once we arrived, I became engaged in conversation in the lobby, and ended up chatting with each of the students one-by-one as they came in the door. I think that, for me, this is the magic bullet when it comes to teaching: A nice, strong yoga session of my own before hand, and then greeting the class on an individual basis. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there were no nerves at all and it was just good ol’ fashioned fun to teach.
And with that, I have officially reached the half-way mark of these 100 Days of Yoga.