Today’s Tiny Joy: Teaching a New Class

I have such perfectionist paralysis that I rarely venture out to try new things, even if I know I’ll do them just fine. Blame being the oldest child, or the Taurus sun and moon (and Capricorn rising), or that old-fashioned societal pressure that tells us anything but exceptional success is a moral failing, but doing something new when I’ve not adequately researched is just not my thing.

However, if you appeal to my sense of friendship and my teaching ego, I might just make an exception–which is what I did today. The studio owner needed a substitute for the 9:30 am Yin yoga class, and knowing I like my practice slow and introspective, asked last week if I’d cover. Her son needed to make a speech, and she didn’t want to miss it…who am I to get in the way of that? Despite never having taken this particular class (I like to get a sense of the asanas and sequences and overall vibe before I sub), I agreed.

I haven’t had a chance to take further studies in Yin since earning my initial certification in December of 2020, but back in the late 90s and early 2000s, I was a faithful Yin student on Sunday afternoons in the studio where I did odd jobs in return for free yoga classes. I brushed up on my skills for today’s gig by binging You Tube videos, and worked the kinks out of a slow but meaningful practice, incorporating props and pauses along with deep, delicious stretches.

I showed up to class only to find out that the regular teacher rarely if ever uses props, but I figured if I went down, I was going down in flames of my own making. As it turned out, the regulars offered glowing comments about my ‘new’ style of Yin, and how relaxed they felt at the end of class. I promised them I’d drop into a future class to see them and experience the vibe of the class myself in the case that I cover again, but left with a new appreciation for the fact that I wasn’t as off-target as my mind had made me out to be.