Plight of the RYT [Rookie Yoga Teacher] – Part I
My teaching schedule just went from 0 – 60 in 4.2 seconds [which even beats out the Maserati I have in my make believe life. Whoa].
Last week was insanity and also every new teacher’s dream. I took on a new class [enthusiasm beyond verbal expression permits] and also had the opportunity to sub a few classes for an injured teacher who also happens to be a
good friend yoga sister. Throw in a request for a future private session and I was stoked. Then it hit me: I was teaching SIX classes in one week in addition to working. Anxiety set in. The “omg-how-will-I-handle-it-all-I’m-not-ready-for-this-but-I-am-so-ready-for-this” complex began. Was my body ready to teach so many classes in one week? When would I have my own practice? When would I plan my classes? When would I EAT?! [oh, the horror!].
The good news: I survived. The bad news: I realized that I am completely insane and also self-centered. That, or, perhaps experiencing the yoga teacher’s rite of passage. Only time will tell.
Following is a chronicle of the Plight of the R.Y.T. (Rookie Yoga Teacher), Week One:
Monday: Preparation day. Very enthusiastic. Practice, errands, mental pumping-up. Set alarm clock for day ahead. Sheer joy!
Tuesday: Alarm clock snafu. Wake 20 minutes before early-morning class. Yelling and cursing [very un-yoga-like] and general disgust towards self. No time to pack lunch. No time for
bathroom coffee. Class #1: They are not jumping for joy at 6:50 a.m. They must hate me. I am not as good as the regular teacher. I didn’t challenge and/or nurture them enough. My hair looks stupid. Class #2: This class rocks and I am giving them exactly what they need. The lady in the corner is panting but is smiling. Perfect combination of challenge and relaxation. Plus, this top fits great. I am awesome [again, very un-yoga-like].
Wednesday: Sleep in. Do nothing of consequence due to emotional exhaustion of preceding day. Venture out to purchase new alarm clock. Tell sales associate at Best Buy that I am a yoga teacher and need a new alarm in order to wake for the multitude of early-morning classes I teach. Begin to feel very legitimate.
Thursday: New alarm clock works like magic. Wake 3 hours early just to be safe. Drink too much coffee. Class #1: Way too many people in tiny room. Stereo not working so iPhone playing in corner of room [ghetto]. Trying to calm down from three cups of coffee [hello, this is a gentle class]. They don’t notice and are happy. New student leaves upbeat and promises to come back. I am awesome again. Class #2: Anxiety spike since friends from studio attending. Clearly, they will discover that I am a phony and know nothing about yoga. I am depressed again. Music snafu to boot. Must flow to sounds of nature [gasp!]. They must hate me. Nobody gets injured. Savasana during sunset. They clap at end of class. I am happy again (But my outfit might look dumb).
Friday: Wake 2 hours early just to be safe. Less coffee this morning. Class #1: Kick a$$ flow. Feeling energetic and don’t care how my hair looks. Did not plan class and have no notes to fall back on. Don’t care. Class is success anyway. I must be a natural yoga teacher since class just flows from inside. Who needs notes?
Saturday: Lounge in sun all morning. Life is awesome. Class #1: No one shows. I am clearly too fat/inflexible/boring to be a yoga teacher. Ah, three people arrive. Guess I’m not so bad. They look happy. Given a compliment during an adjustment. Guess I’m an ok teacher. Forget to do sequence on left side. THIS IS WHY I NEED MY NOTES!! Class laughs it off. Breathe sigh of jubilation/exhaustion after savasana. Put on my princess crown and demand The Big Guy fetch Thai food. At home,
submerge face in sip glass of red wine and realize I survived.
Sunday: Reminded of the importance of bringing yoga to the people. It’s not about me. Realize that I survived my first week as a real yoga teacher and how good it feels to bring yoga to others. Also realize that I got EXACTLY what I wanted. Start feelin’ alright!
[Go on. Rock out, peeps!]
So, tell me about your plight as a Rookie Yoga Teacher. Am I the only crazy one or can we share a room at the looney bin?
. . .