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Reflection: Guiding My First Yoga Class

Photo: Jenn Calaway

Saturday morning, I woke up at 6am, sat up in my bed and just stared.

I do not want to do this; but here goes nothing. 

Rolling out of bed, I decided not to make coffee. I wanted to be calm, not wired.

The books I was poring over the night before were still open on my bed and so I went back to them, double-checking what I had written down. The queues I needed to call out. The muscles and nerves that would begin to feel better.

Time to teach my first yoga class.

I’m big on inspirational quotes. There are some overused ones, and so I always look for hidden gems to make somebody stop and think, even for just a second in their busy day.

The theme of my class was self-love. I needed a good opening and closing thought/quote.

“Do your thing and don’t care if they like it,” – Tina Fey. 

Too cute and short, but I like it. It’s just not right fro today. maybe for another day.

“Self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I was put on Earth to offer to others.” – Parker Palmer

Also good, but maybe not exactly what I’m looking for.

“What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

That’s a good one. 

Let today be the day you love yourself enough to no longer just dream of a better life; let today be the day you act upon it.” – Steve Maraboli 

Perfect. 

 I think words are important, and so finding the right one to share with yoga classes is going to be a new activity I enjoy.

I packed up, hopped in my car, and headed out to yoga. Riding my bike wasn’t going to happen this time, because I’m still too wimpy for the hills out here in Boulder.

Arriving at Chautauqua Park, I suddenly felt calmness melting over me, and I found myself not worried about who, when, where, why — not worried about anything. I realized I was truly being present. My mind was here with me, and that was it. Ego wasn’t whispering anything to get a rise out of me, Ego was also with me. I was being fully supported and led by myself, in union with The Universe.

Photo: Jenn Calaway

A couple people with yoga mats walked up, and since the park we were at is popular for trail-running, and not early morning yoga class, I knew they were looking for me.

Seven people and a photographer showed up to my class. My new roommate, my old roommate, and people from Instagram and Facebook.

Photo: Jenn Calaway

At 7:35, we hiked up a little ways to a grassy area in Chautauqua Park, with the perfect view of The Flatirons.

I instructed everyone to get into a circle. I feel like I might always want to guide my yoga classes in a circle, if the space allows, because I feel like the experience has equal input and output from everyone involved.

We opened with introductions: names, how long you’ve lived in Boulder, and why you do yoga. I loved hearing what everyone had to say about their reason for allowing yoga to be in their lives.

“The union of my mind, body and spirit.”

“The calmness it gives me.”

“Stretching feels so good.”

Photo: Jenn Calaway
Photo: Jenn Calaway

As a yoga teacher, it’s going to be important for me to remember that everyone has different reasons for choosing to do yoga, and so I cannot force any one way or structure on them. I am here to create the community and safely and calmly guide them through their asana practice.

The practice lasted about an hour, and then it was time for savasana. I did not participate because I walked around giving a forehead massage, but the  in the tall, cool grass looked amazing!

Photo: Jenn Calaway
Photo: Jenn Calaway
Photo: Jenn Calaway

I am so incredibly grateful for the people who allowed me to guide them during my first class. Now that I have lead my first class, I feel so much more calm and ready to lead endless classes!

**If you want me to come guide a free/donation yoga class, please email me at tiffinycostello@me.com.  Currently, I live in Boulder, CO, but I will be traveling and teaching yoga in the future, and need to find out where there is a demand. 

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