Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's never too late for an intention.

My second yoga class was great- I was more comfortable and confident in myself, I felt more at ease and even kind of silly. However, I always must start my yoga practice-and now- my yoga classes- with an intention. I believe it is so important to go inside and ask ourselves what it is we need today- in this practice- in our lives- where our attention needs to be focused in order to heal, to grow, to rejuvenate, or to let go. In the midst of my high-energy mood and my excitement to begin our yoga practice, I completely forgot to ask my students to set an intention, and I forgot to set one for myself. I realized this mistake about halfway through our warm-ups, so I hesitantly told everyone, simply, I forgot. The only person who seemed to be upset with me about my forgetfulness was ME- everyone else seemed perfectly fine with setting their intention after our warm-ups, leading us into the standing postures.

So we did. We all just closed our eyes and set our intentions then. I realized it's okay to forget- even while leading a yoga class. It's ok to remember and come back to ourselves and mindfully focus our minds and hearts on something we need- or maybe another person who needs it more than we do that day. 

So many times in life- and I am certainly guilty of this- we wake up without mindfulness, without choosing for ourselves what we would like our day to bring into our souls. It's simple- if our hearts and souls and minds are longing for something or need something, we just have to put it out there- and keep it in our consciousness- and usually, maybe not right away, but usually... we will receive our peace, our bliss, our balance, our fearlessness, our flexibility, or whatever our intention may be that day, that week, or that year. It's a fabulous thing to dive right in to life's adventures, but it is so important to keep in our minds and hearts our intentions for our lives. And when we forget- and we all will from time to time- we can just come back and re-choose, re-set, re-create the intention. It's OK, because it's really never too late. 


Monday, August 8, 2011

Teaching my first class.

The entire week leading up to my very first -- my OWN -- yoga class, I was full of nerves. 7 p.m. on Thursday was looming over my head -- my anticipation was ridiculous, really. There were even times when I thought to myself that I may not be ready, maybe there would be a storm and I couldn't have the class. But, I realized, that morning, as I took myself through the hour-long practice I would be teaching on the beach that night, that I was more ready than ever. I had been waiting so long to share my love of yoga with others. I had worked hard all summer to do just that- to develop the skills and the tools to provide people with a space and practice where they are able to let go and to create inner harmony and self-acceptance. I decided that I needed to write some things down in order to calm my nerves more. I called some people who I love. I created an intention for my class- from me to my students- and another one from me to myself.

My intention for the students: To help peace to feel calm, peaceful, happy, and at ease in their bodies and minds... To help life their spirits and help them to recognize their innate goodness.
My intention for myself: To relax, to be present, and to trust myself. I am a balanced, compassionate yoga teacher.

I practiced some basic Pranayama to clear my mind and I headed out to the beach. I found the hardest area in the sand to set up my class. As 7 p.m. drew nearer, people came walking up the beach- yoga mats, towels and water bottles in hand- they were coming to MY class. They were coming to me for some relaxation, some physical and mental strengthening, and some peace. It's funny, because the less and less that I was alone- the more and more people that showed up- I felt more and more comfortable and at ease. Some faces were familiar, and some faces were not, but all of them were friendly and much less intimidating than my mind's constant chatter and speculation.

It was the best possible experience I could have ever imagined for my first yoga class ever. We had fun, we laughed, we created peace and harmony within ourselves and with each other. And, I can't wait to do it again next week!