I was surprisingly nervous when you consider that I’ve been teaching for 10 years—I am a seasoned teacher, to be sure. Also when you consider that I wanted to do this. Donated funds are going toward the purchase of props to support future classes, so it wasn’t financial excitement pressuring me. I chose to do this on my usual day off from teaching yoga. So it would almost seem like I was doing this just for fun, and that there would be no reason to be nervous, but I was more nervous than I’ve been in a while.
It took me out of my safe yoga teacher box. I was bringing dream into reality. This was a first step in co-creating the yoga community that might sustain me and others that resonate with queer community yoga.
Class started informally. We all seemed happy to be there. The space was super-cheerful. Sun was streaming in through open windows, and a warm breeze greeted our skin.
I introduced people who hadn’t met yet. I met someone that I hadn’t met before!
The scene was set. Water in the kitchen. Bathroom over there. I brought grapes because, well, grapes are awesome! To the side, we also had a donation box and paper & pen for anonymous feedback, if someone wanted to share that way.
I started class with some gentle movements and breathing to help us all perceive our bodies! Then we sat to do a check-in. We said our name, preferred pronoun, how we were feeling, and if there was something specific someone would like to have happen in class.
We did partner poses as a part of our practice. This worked really well for our group. It was also an opportunity for me to talk about listening to each other and voicing boundary needs. It’s also a good way for people to connect in class, by helping each other with their yoga.
I tried to be attentive to the physical needs of people in the class. It was fairly easy because people were similarly able. And at the same time there was also variance in athleticism and expectations that can make teaching any yoga class challenging. I really felt that my goal was to take care of our bodies, and to do what I could to cultivate an atmosphere of self-care that might open space for experiencing ourselves in an honoring way.
I ended savasana, resting pose, by reading an excerpt from How Poetry Saved My Life by Amber Dawn:
In the room you’ve made together, there is an east-facing window. Through this window you’ve watched the moon disappear and return a hundred times before you understood the message. There is artistry to self-perpetuation—the moon’s had a lot of practice. You, however, are still a tenderfoot when it comes to beginning again. Now you stand in this world as someone who is completely loved. From this point of view, who knows what poetry is yet to come?
After class there was time for talking and a relaxed pace for going forward. So there was community building, grape snacking, donating, and feedback happening then.
Yes to success! I hope that this is merely a start to something that will grow!