Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More Cities, More Yoga!

This is just a quick-ish kind of an update, since I am Very Busy and Important.  (Name that book/movie.)

I'm doing a little bit of a "traveling teacher" thing right now - I took off a couple weeks from my regular studio in Baltimore in order to go gallivanting around the country.  Okay, I really only gallivanted as far as Kentucky, but it was a satisfyingly long drive through the hills of West Virginia.  (I think that every single bug in West Virginia is now plastered on the front end of my car.)  It always feels good to be out on the open road, just me and my car!

I'm teaching at the studio in Lexington KY right now, and it's pretty awesome.  I've taught 4 classes here since Sunday, and they've all been pretty action packed.  First of all, I taught the Sunday and Monday morning classes of Memorial Day weekend, which is a big holiday weekend.  And second of all, the studio just did a Groupon deal last week, so there is a flood of new people coming in.  So it's been hot and humid and crowded and exciting.  I taught the two evening classes tonight and had ten new students in each class - I barely learned half of their names!  They all stuck it out through the class and did great - it was really fun.  Slightly tricky, but fun.

The travel is good for me because quite honestly, the first day at a new studio is always way out of my comfort zone.  And I hadn't taught anywhere apart from my "home studio" since December, so I was definitely due to shake things up a bit.  I had some butterflies in my stomach before I taught my first class here on Sunday morning, and it's been months since I got nervous about teaching a class.  I wonder if this gets easier with practice?  I've got some more travels coming up this summer, so I guess I'll find out.

I also had a good feedback session with Jodi, the studio owner, after my class on Sunday.  First of all, she busted me on a little phrase that I'd left out of my dialogue, so she gets props for that.  I don't get corrected on my dialogue very often.  We also had a good chat about the classroom interactions, and as I was talking to her, I put my finger on something: teaching the first class at a new studio is like going on a blind first date.  It's kind of awkward and kind of nerve-wracking, because you (the teacher) don't know them (the students) and they don't know you.  I'm used to having an easy rapport with most of my classes, but that's because I know all of my students!  I know when they started, how much they practice, how they're doing, how their dogs are doing, etc etc etc.  That makes it all easy and great.  But when you're in front of a room of total strangers, it's such a different feeling!  It's harder to read the room, and it's harder for them to read you, too.  First class in a new place, I crack a little joke and it's like....... *crickets*...... ooh, tough room.

But happily, that phase doesn't last too long.  And already, after only four classes, I'm much more comfortable with the whole set-up.  I'm getting to know the regulars (and the repeat newbies), and I'm learning how to assess the room much more quickly.  I'm getting used to looking around the room during the first couple of postures and figuring out, okay, here are the rock star regulars, here are the newbies, here are the ones working through injuries, here are the total weirdos.... check, check, check.

I really am loving it here in Lexington and I will have to post about it at greater length later, with pictures.  For now, I will just say that two out of my three evenings have been spent at lazy backyard barbeques, and all the yoga teachers spent Monday afternoon biking around Lexington with a huge group of people.  I could get used to this.  (But don't worry Baltimore, I'll be back.)

There are so many great yoga studios and so many places that I want to go.  It's always tempting to just chuck everything into my car and hit the road for a while to go everywhere - but where would that really get me?  The students that I love the most are the ones who I spend months with.  I guess it's important to have a home base.  It's exciting to go to new places, but it's sad to leave them.  Very Mary Poppins.  ("And what would happen to me, may I asked, if I loved all the children I said goodbye to?")  I was talking about this with Mike from my teacher training, who has been in Lex for the last couple of weeks. He's been to lots of different studios and he says that he is always really sad when he leaves.  I told him, "Yes, but your family is only getting bigger."  Every new place becomes a new home.

Apparently this is my idea of a quick update.  Watch out for the long one!!

Also, my next stop is Bonnarroo!  Anyone else going?!

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