Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Thank You Series ~ Class 2: Amazed!

What a difference a week makes. I’m talking about the number and diversity of the people who showed up for class this past Sunday. Of course once again in my excitement I forgot to take a photo of everyone so I’ll have to paint you a picture one more time. But before I do that I want to back up a bit.

For Sunday’s class I wasn’t as last minute in planning as usual. It was still a Saturday night planning session, but at least it wasn’t midnight. I also wasn’t as nervous as I had been the prior week, but I was still feeling some butterflies. I guess it’s just like in yoga teacher training (YTT). The first week is killer on the psyche. I mean you have no idea how it’s all going to go. Our teachers told us, “If you don’t make some mistakes in the first practice teach then you fail.” LOL. Of course not really, but the point is that we were learning. So this week of class was much like week two of practice teach. I felt more confident, but I was still nervous.

As you know, these are my Thank You classes to folks who donated toward me getting to YTT. A woman named Kathryn donated to my fundraiser, but she emailed and said she couldn’t make it to Brooklyn for class because she lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY, which is about an hour or so away in the Hudson Valley. So she asked me if she could transfer her comp to her friend Pat who happens to live around the corner from where I’m teaching. Of course the answer was yes and with that I knew I had one student for Sunday. Also my friend Stephanie told me she was coming so that was two, both of whom had a free class. I emailed Pat to let her know she was all set, and she told me she was bringing a few folks. Nice! Then Rachel of Hip Dhamma said she emailed her list to tell them about my class as well. Since you never know how things will do, I was sticking to my two people for sure. This is New York and people are known to change their plans on the fly.

When I arrived at Freebrook on Sunday there were just a few things to straighten up and then I would be good to go. My friend Desiree came by with her two sons to wish me luck before class, which was great! Then before I knew it people were showing up for class.

I think Chris was first. Yeah, one man in class! He came because of the email that Hip Dhamma sent out. Then Pat showed up with one of her friends. She thought it would just be the two of them, but then two more of her friends came through the door.

Now let me tell you about Pat and friends. These are grown folks if you get what I’m saying. I have no idea how old they really were and they all look amazing, but these ladies could have been grandmothers and I loved it! They had great energy and it was an honor to teach them on Sunday. So that made 5 people in class up from 2 the week before. Then I got my third surprise, Ganessa came! Ganessa is my friend and bassist in my band. Turns out that was her first yoga class and she loved it! That really meant a lot of me because I think a persons first yoga class is so important. I think that will dictate if they go back again.

For my series I have to wear all the hats. So I’m taking money, checking my comp list, setting up the room so there is enough space fore everyone and trying to center myself as well. As we started to settle in, the people kept coming. Next came Tiffany, then Stephanie, then Maria, then Bianca and then Erica! I couldn’t believe it. The room was packed. If anyone else had come I would have had to turn them away. Now that’s crazy.  I had a feeling this might happen, but not till the final week. I was a bit overwhelmed looking out at all the faces, but it was also an overwhelming feeling of joy.

As I mentioned, this was week 2 of my Thank You Series. So the focus was on giving thanks for your body. So often we say such mean things to ourselves about our body. Sometimes it’s so subtle that we are not mindful of the negative self talk at all. Then we wonder why our body fails us. Think about it.  So the class was all about giving thanks even for those parts that give us aches and pains and to breathe some good energy into those places.  This time I made a class plan that was that was the correct amount of time. Actually it was probably just a minute or so long. So next week my goal is to be right no time.

When class ended, my students applauded! Now that was wild. They were not all people that I knew so that was totally unexpected. I’m surely not teaching yoga for the roar of the crowd. That’s why I make music and get on stage to perform it. Teaching yoga, doing Reiki, and healing in general is such a deep calling for me. Music and art is right in there, but hands on touch and moving meditation is the tops.
After class some of the students came up to talk to me, and folks wanted to sign my mailing list. I am so thankful. So, so thankful.

The picture that I really want you to see when you close your eyes and think about this class is the colors, shapes, genders and sizes of the people who came. So often when people think about yoga the picture that comes their minds eye is that of a young, skinny or very fit, white woman in a very small and sometimes expensive yoga outfit. Well I’m here to tell you that yogis come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders. Some people think that black people don’t do yoga, but yes we do! Ninety-eight percent of my class was people of color. Yes that does have something to do with the neighborhood, but they came. Also I had grown folks in my class and one man, which no matter what color is wonderful. I would love to see more men in yoga. The sizes of people probably ranged from size 6 to 16. It was just beautiful. Also people levels varied greatly, but I offered props and assistance and we had a great time.

I know I should stop sounding like I’m in such shock, but a little over a month ago I couldn’t do any of this. Now, I’m a yoga teacher.

Jai Bhagwan!

Sovereign Hands Yoga: The Thank You Series
@ Freebrook Spaces in Association with Hip Dhamma
375 Stuyvesant Avenue b/w Decatur & Bainbridge Sts.
Brooklyn, NY
Sunday December, 16th (Last Class of Series)
[If you have a mat please bring it with you. If not, there are a few mats for use.]
By Train: A/C to Utica Avenue

Contact, More info & Talk to Me
Twitter @sovereignhands

Check out Hip Dhamma Too!!

1 comment:

  1. Jai Sister Shelly! I am going to do my first class tomorrow with my friends, there will be 7 of us total. I am sick to my stomach girl~~~~~~> send me some love this way! So proud of you! I am having a lot of doubt and fear creep in now...tomorrow will def be a challenge for me, but I will think of you leading the way for me!
    Peace and Love, Kathy