So I taught one of those classes. You know the one where you feel super duper good before class because you arrived early, set up the music, warmed the studio, have The Pointer Sisters’s I’m So Excited running through your head, remembered how to check everyone in, and opened the doors. People packed the studio, and, then, you noticed this eerie, awkward vibe as the students gave you sidelong glances. You’re not their usual instructor.
I tried warming the class up with a few jokes and warm smile. Now, in my regular classes, I can elicit a smirk, giggle, or laughter from well placed japes. There, though, my jests fell dead. It was as if a live being had been launched into space without any protective clothing, and we all know what happens to someone if they’ve been loosed without protective clothing into a cold, unforgiving vacuum full of radiation in all the inaccurate science fiction movies. Humor’s skin boiled and body imploded. In my mind I heard the Emergency Broadcast System noise and, “This is a test…”
Classes like these sometimes suck all the confidence out of me, and I hear that wheezy, gasping noise balloons make as my ego deflates. I need to remember that some classes won’t go the way I want or planned and really aren’t about me. In other words, this was a great time to practice a few yamas (lama ding dong) and niyamas, which are, essentially, lists of recommended ethics and goals. In particular, I focus on ahimsa (nonviolence), satya (truthfulness), and daya (compassion) from the yamas as well as a niyama known as svadhyaya (self-study). What makes me so very attached to doing well? How do those notions help? Nonviolence helps me to stop the negative feedback. Truthfulness finds the objectivity. Compassion reminds me that I’m human. Self-study aids me in reflecting on that particular class and classes before. In essence, I can practice criticism, which allows me to see what I did well and not so well without personal involvement.
I’m looking forward to teaching that class, again, this weekend.
(Oh help me, please.)