At 4:30 am I woke up from an awful dream. I was scheduled to teach a yoga class and it was at the house where I grew up. The room where I was to be teaching was longer and more narrow than I remembered, so I switched to another room only to find it stuffed full of furniture and people waiting.
There were couches and coffee table after coffee table after coffee table, and dining room tables. A bar had been set up and needed to be moved and even coffee and Danish.
And did I mention all the people?
Even my dad was there. He said he wanted to try yoga. He’d heard from someone it’s really good for you and since I’m teaching now, he was there for my class.
Are you effing kidding me?
The people just kept coming. They didn’t have their mats or their clothes or any of their yoga stuff. There was a sense of anticipation.The time kept ticking and the furniture moving was going at a snail’s pace.
When would we start? How would we ever begin with all the talking, milling about, furniture moving? How would we fit everyone there?
Everyone kept asking me questions…. thinking I was in charge. Like I knew what to do in these strange circumstances. Like I WAS IN CHARGE….
I kept reminding myself to breathe and that it would be ok.
Except I didn’t even believe myself.
I guess my Monsters are trying to tell me something.
It’s now 5am, I’m blogging and I’ve got heartburn.
I guess you could say I’m losing my freaking marbles about subbing for Michelle (my badass, seemingly perfect, rock star teacher) .
I guess you could say that I’m feeling like I need to plan the perfect class and prepare for everything that may happen.
I need to find the perfect story/poem to start the class.
I need to come up with the perfect sequence for every single person in the class.
I need to know every modification and prop to support every person in every pose.
I need to say the perfect words for every pose and have witty, but not too witty banter between poses.
Simply put, I need ME to be perfect.
Can someone talk to my MONSTERS for me?
I am having trouble getting through.
Michelle said she felt better after she let hers rant and rave for a while.
I’ve just got heartburn.
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That was weird with a funny ending. I like how you describe things. As a teacher of little 8 year olds I appreciate expressive writing.
@monica – weird indeed. i had to wake myself up i was so freaked out.
thanks for the compliment on the expressive writing. if only we could figure out how to make them do it.
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Every semester at ARC, and I’ve been teaching the same class for over 5 years, I have a series of dreams right before classes begin. In the dreams I have forgotten where the classroom is and/or I forget to show up for a few weeks and I wonder if administration will show up and/or I can’t find the classroom because it’s in a maze of cubicles.
Your monster is so totally normal. And you forgot, you ARE a rock star (hey, even you admitted we were all trained by one). So say to your monster, “Butch up little furry thing! We’re going to do Monster yoga”.
@jess – thanks for the reminder it’s just first day of school jitters. i used to have those dreams a lot, but they are getting less frequent with more experience.
sounds like me and my monster have some snuggling to do.
i hope i see you soon so i can give you a hug.
I’m not having monsters….. but tons of angst. It feels like forever since I led anyone in anything… and I don’t know how to plan what I will say prior to it coming out of my mouth…
Let’s just keep breathing and breathing and share what which we love!!! ;-)
@donna – breathing and breathing and breathing…. sounds great. maybe that can be a part of your class plan. =)
i’ll be there to support you tomorrow.
WooHoo!!! Isn’t this fun? (we’re all on this roller coaster together Tami, enjoy the ride – hands free).
@bob – SO much FUN! -not. Monsters – blech. Although I’m trying to negotiate with mine…
hi tami. move over b/c i want to talk to your monster.
oh sweetie, of course you’re all nervous about doing this thing that you want to do well, that you’re still new at, that you really love and want to do justice for.
and you want everyone to experience the bliss of yoga and you want them to feel good and love themselves at the end.
and you might be a little nervous about what they’ll think of you and you might think they’re comparing you to someone else.
and when you communicate those worries to tami in the way you did, she gets really stressed. she feels bad. she feels like she has to be perfect or she’ll fail. she can’t even hear the validity of your concerns because she’s completed freaked out.
monster, is there another way you could communicate your fears to tami? a way that would be a little easier on the ears? so that she can know that you just want it to be safe for her to be her, to know that she’s planned and prepped as much as possible within reason, so she knows you’re nervous about the discomfort of doing something new and vulnerable?
and, monster, what do you need from tami? to see the class plan? to have her teach it one time to jed beforehand? do you need a ritual before class? do you need something from someone else?
ok, some things for you to consider, monster. thanks for listening. nice chatting with you. oh, can you get tami again?
tams – so… when you’re ready (if you find yourself ready), here are some monster considerations – what does your monster need? in some way it’s trying to protect you/keep you safe/etc. how can you give it that? ease it’s concerns (which are valid, it’s just not communicating them very well)? but negotiate, like you don’t have to practice the sequence 82 times… how many would feel good for you and also satisfy monster? these certainly aren’t all the answers, but some ideas from what i’m learning (practice makes…. nevermind….). lots of love to the two of you. xox
@shelly – you brought tears to my eyes with your hostage-negotiator skills. you really are badass.
thanks for talking to my monster. she’s mean and scary. you almost talked her off the ledge. i think i may have to print this and staple it to my notebook.
i think my monster came out big time because i read about yours and erin’s and my wanted to come out and play too! and the timing of the classes is perfect too.
thanks for the idea of a private lesson for j-man. it never even crossed my mind to practice it. DUH!
a ritual before class? any ideas??????
I agree with everything Erin said. People don’t expect you to be Michelle. They expect you to be you. The first time I taught, I started with a poem. It felt right and it went well. But, since then, I haven’t been as inspired to do so, and that’s been okay, too. Just do what feels right to you for that class. The rest will fall into place.
@amanda – thank you. i know when the time comes i’ll be able to breathe through it. it’s the getting to it part.
at least i’m assiting tonight, so i can put my little teacher hat on for a while and remember that it can even be kinda fun to teach.
Oh my goodness! I hope you were able to let your monsters off the leash a while and run off all that heartburn. I totally feel for you–hope the class went ok!
@michelleb – letting the monsters out here helped a bit. i’m thinking about taking them out for a run this weekend too.
the classes start monday, so we’ll see.
thanks for the kindness.
Oh. My. Gawd. Tami. What a flipping nightmare.
A few points of light:
1. the anxiety is normal and healthy – instead of wanting it to go away and letting it scare the sh*t out of you, maybe try saying hello to it and inviting it in (it’s coming anyway). maybe letting it be OK and understandable (natural) will help alleviate the fear and heartburn? I sort-of learned this last night . . .
I was feeling anxious and nervous b4 class yesterday and telling B I hate! feeling anxious – and he said, “of course you’re anxious – it’s because you want to do a good job and you CARE.” Same with you Tams – it’s because you care, and that’s great!
Also, I ran into a wonderful, famous Yoga teacher b4 class, and she asked me how it was going, etc. I said ‘when does the anxiety go away!’ She said she StILL gets nervous b4 class, but she sees it as great (being young to teaching and fresh and excited) – she says we won’t always be this way – so enjoy it! Someday we may become the old, jaded teacher who doesn’t plan anything for class and comes in and does the routine, all bored and such.
2. The thing I’ve noticed about subbing is that people are kind – they don’t expect Michelle perfection out of the sub (our Monsters are the only ones expecting perfection – and they’re stupid, um- i mean misguided). The students know the class will be different than a Michelle class, and they chose to stay, and then you love them up and have some fun, and it’s over. We’re not saving babies . . .
3. I’ll be there at the beginning of class to greet and smile at the people and send them kind, chill, surrendering energy. I SO wish I could stay for your classes, but B has to leave our house for school at 6pm on Mondays, so I have to be home by then. Maybe we can assure another TT is there – it’s comforting to have some Love in the room. But I’ll love them up as much as I can in the beginning . . .
4. You are wonderful, kind, caring, spunky and you heart yoga. Just be yourself and you’ll do great! I totally believe in you.
@erin – it really was a nightmare! making friends with the monsters is hard. the first step i guess is to acknowledge them otherwise, i fear i’ll be having bad dreams forever.
i’m glad to hear the peeps are kind. i know that, i see it all the time for others.
thank you for diva-ing for me!
thank you for the kind words, buddy! i do heart yoga and just want everyone else to heart it too.