Teaching In Utero

While I’ve been teaching at several locations for the past month; tonight I taught for the first time at my home studio.  It’s the space that I’ve been walking into as a student for several years.  Late this morning, I got the call to pick it up.  It took me a moment to respond.  The idea of it was a little too much to digest.  And then I said yes.  I said it promptly.  I said it decidedly.  Warmly embracing the bigness of it.

I drove the few blocks to the studio, and walked the walk from my car.  Taking the way I always take.  Knowing where to park.  Treading the same path; feeling quite myself.

As people entered to check in; I introduced myself as the teacher, and it seemed about right.  The students didn’t recoil or show surprise that I would be taking them through class.  But as time ticked down I noticed my heart speeding.  My stomach fluttering.  The moment mattered very much, whether or not I’d acknowledged it consciously.

Closing the door behind me; I slowly illuminated the room.  Crossing through to the front and getting seated on the teachers mat.  And then I started talking.  Turning my gaze from left to right, speaking about my love for this studio and the familiar faces gazing back at me.  And in my great moment of introduction I began to realize- I began to realize that…  that I wasn’t breathing.  My words began faltering and shaking and pitching falsetto.

So I did what I’ve been taught to do.  I came into child’s pose.  This time, I took everyone with me.  As I sat my hips back, so did they.  As I opened my heart, perhaps they did too.  And as I began to bring the air back into my lungs, my voice returned.  Steadily, deeply, assuredly, I began to share what I’ve always wanted to share about yoga.

In mass we received.  Taking our time.  Breathing.  And inquiring within of what we were really there for.

Here we connect to this space both geographical and in time.  Getting a sense of our body and mind as it is right now.  And I’d like you to consider what brought you to this space today.  Be it for physical strength, mental equanimity, prayer, meditation, or just to celebrate your vital and able body.  Begin to tap into what matters; and then notice what doesn’t matter.  None of us come in here to execute a perfectly text book trikonasana, and yet, many of us will get caught up in that pursuit before we think to stop ourselves.  So I ask you to take whatever it is that really matters to you in this work and set it in front of you as we move through the next hour of practice.

-Rachel Pedroso

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5 thoughts on “Teaching In Utero

  1. Wow. I’ve always struggled with speaking in front of large (or even small) groups of people. When the anxiety kicks in, it’s so hard to maintain control! So, I find your ability to engage with this incredible moment in a way that allowed you to overcome your anxiety/fear/nervousness so impressive! And, yes, this is so much of what yoga is really about, right? What a powerful example to set for your class!! :)

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