First and Last

One first time and one last time today — and I’m pretty happy with both. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this non-perfectionism thing. Or maybe the doubting voices in my head haven’t woken up yet!


So it was the first time teaching in my workplace gym. A lunchtime session which is now mine weekly for as long as I want it. I’ve got to say teaching in a gym environment is very weird. Not my natural place to be at all, but my boss told me I could do what I wanted and I didn’t need to think of it as necessarily super-energetic, calorie-burning power yoga. So I led a modest flow, balancing keeping them moving smartly to warm up a bit (AC working against me here!) but with enough ‘holds’ (what is a better word for this?!) to give them some space to explore the shapes since that’s what my practice is. Some will have loved it, some will have hated it. I guess time will tell. 

They’d all done yoga before, so that helped, but of course that still made them a very mixed bunch. Funny how you can identify some types from the off: those with a significant degree of self-compassion, those full of performance anxiety, the younger bendier ones in the front row who vie with one another to reach the pose first before you’ve fully articulated it, the ones who listen and those who think they know it all already, those who welcome an assist and those who look as though they’ll hiss if you come near or make any personalised suggestion.

For me it was so interesting handling a room full of people — and people who are so quiet. Teaching in smaller groups there’s often some natural dialogue as the students feel able to voice any questions as they arise. Here it’s more impersonal: they come, they do yoga, they go. And that’s fine, as I expected. But I was super-grateful to the student who came up to me afterwards to talk a little about his practice and to tell me what he liked about my class. Bless him! It’s nice to know there’s one happy punter in the room at least! Overall I think it went OK. I muffed the sequence only once and not in a way anyone would have noticed, I kept to time, the music worked, I was reasonably articulate and offered some one-to-one comment or gentle assist to about half the students. And no-one left before or during Savasana!! I reckon in an office lunchtime that’s quite a result!

So that was The First.

The Last was that it turned out to be last meeting with my physio today. He signed me off as good enough to continue working on my own, no more special exercises required. I wasn’t expecting that. But he didn’t discharge me before one last torture session (his words, not mine). I also got a ‘wow’ for my improvement in thoracic extension (I guess that counts as another First! …But it’s probably also a Last, since I’m never going to hear that from my yoga teacher! 🙂 ).

So a bit of an epic afternoon already. Now I’m holed up in my favorite cafe, treating myself to a celebratory slice of cake and procrastinating over coffee, rather than tackling what I should be doing — writing up some thoughts about the significance of mantras and chanting… Or indeed going home and doing my asana practice. But actually I think resting on my laurels a while longer is deserved…. Maybe another espresso while I digest the cake….

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