Uh oh. Who would have guessed that 10 months into my yoga life, I’d lead a class?
Well, a small class. Three of us and a dog named Emma. At a cottage. I may not know what I’m doing when it comes to yoga, but neither did they, and we all felt certain we’d come to no harm. So we gathered on a deck looking over Big Marten Lake on a gloriously blue Saturday morning.
We started with a few Sun Salutations, followed by variations on Sun Salutations. We flowed gently from posture to posture, plank to Chattarunga to upward dog to downward dog. I gave them every tip I could remember (shoulder blades down, inner thighs rotating backward, rooting through hands and feet) and made up several extra.
More than once, Jenni said, don’t you mean my left leg forward? And isn’t it the right foot pivoting this time? (I am far more dyslexic than I imagined.) We moved onto slower poses, a ridiculous rendition of yin yoga – ridiculous given that I have not once attended a yin class. I watch my lovely man do his poses at home and thought they’d be fun to try with my friends.
Class was a rousing success.
Until day two. During our Sun Salutations, neither Sue nor Jenni can move gently from plank to chattarunga. Not even the first time. Sue says, I don’t remember doing this yesterday. We did, I tell her. We did exactly the same thing.
“It didn’t hurt like this,” Jenni says.
“Hurt like what?” I ask.
“Like hell,” she says, “pointing to her chest and arms. It hurts like absolute hell.”
“It’ll get better,” I tell them, hoping it’s true.
And through every Sun Salutation (and we only do five), they collapse like big bags of potatoes from plank to Chattarunga. Smack. Slam. Thud. Thwack. Bang. Crash. The new sounds of yoga. We laughed so hard I thought I’d blow a bhanda.
Great lessons from chattathwack yoga:
1. Yeah for the shoulder and arm strength that comes with practice!!!!
2. I adore sharing yoga. My only goal in leading the class was for them to want to do it again the following day. They did. Sort of.
3. Yeah for real teachers, who know right from left, how to start slowly, and how to let us laugh.
Have you taught, those of you who aren’t teachers yet? I’d love to hear about it.
Thanks to yoga, for fun on vacation, and thanks to you for the conversation.
Kristin Shepherd is a chiropractor, actor, speaker, and workshop wonderwoman in North Bay, Ontario. Join her at kristinshepherd.ca or on Facebook at Dr. Kristin Shepherd.