Beating the alarm on Winter Solstice

My inability to function in the morning is well documented among my coworkers and friends. My friend KGB learned that if she tried to chat before 10 a.m. at the office,  I would only grunt in response. She resorted to instant messaging.

But today, on this very important, life-changing morning when I was to finally, officially become a real, live yoga teacher who taught real, live paying students, I popped up at 4:30 a.m. I beat my alarm by an hour on the darkest day of the year.

I managed to go back to sleep, have a few restless yoga dreams and wake up at the much more appropriate hour of 5:30 a.m. before I trotted off to the New Studio for my first class. I was already a little nervous, then was further rattled by the appearance of a fellow assistant from the Neighborhood Studio. I could pretend with most of the class, but if I messed up, SHE WOULD KNOW.

Shake it off, N. Shake it off.

I did, and managed to enter the classroom with my seven students and teach quite a decent class. Sure, I forgot to explain some things in ways that made sense. Sure, my music was kinda loud and blaring for the early hour (note: dance music is not so great at 6:30 a.m.) And yeah, I might have had them do the same foot in triangle twice, but just so you know, that's because I was checking the time and internally flipping out that I had a good half hour of yoga poses that needed to be squished into 10 minutes. That seemed like a much bigger problem than calling the right foot twice.

After class, one of the staffers who practiced said I sounded great and she couldn't tell it was my first class. I'll take that compliment and tuck that away for safe-keeping. Meditation even worked out. A friend told me to just chill out about guiding meditation and do what came naturally. I listened to the Jack Kornfield CD, then decided the friend was right. I talked to the class (just one student) about breathwork and listening to her body, then let her meditate for 20 minutes. And it worked.

I'm exhausted, I'm exhilarated and mostly I'm relieved. I was more than ready to get that first class over with. And I won't ever have to do it again! It's a day deserving of a Hallelujah.


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Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr