Five years ago on this day, it is Practice Teach #2. Da-da-dummmmmmm!

After our personal sadhana, the adventure begins. The staff had already assigned us numbers; I was #3, to teach at 1:30 p.m. Blah. I was really all prepared to go in the morning. G. went first, then came lunch. I ate way too fast, but I did run into [yoga teacher from home] in the buffet line. We didn’t have time to talk much, but we hugged and it was a comfort to see a familiar face. Carrot ginger soup, salad, studying. Twenty-five minutes on the treadmill listening to Alias music and “What a Feeling” from Flashdance. Confidence booster. My facilitator turns out to be Danny, who wears pink toenail polish.

I don’t remember (again) much about my class. I remember joking about the Reuben sandwiches served at lunch and how we wouldn’t be doing wind-relieving pose or bow. I was definitely better prepared than last time, but it still felt weird, a new pair of shoes. But is IS a new pair of shoes. I’m not used to being a teacher. It is a new pair of shoes. I felt good in the moment but kind of hazy afterward. What just happened? Were my transitions too choppy? Did I make the students hold the posture too long while I talked? I forgot the lateral side stretch in my pratapana! I didn’t have a cool-down pose between warrior and savasana! But my languaging was on, everyone appreciated my foot rubs in savasana, and I felt confident during the class itself. I just feel confused now. Does this feel weird because of the clipboards? The constant chatter? The incessant noise and distraction, the sardine-type environment? When it’s over, I’m relieved  but mentally foggy.

J. closes our practice, and then we had yet another sadhana with Ray. Ray was awesome but unfortunately I had hit rock bottom. I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in a yoga class, even those at 6:30 a.m. We did a ton of forward bends and downdogs, and my eyes felt like they were going to pop out of my head. I’ve never had such a weak triangle and wobbly warrior II. I conked out somewhere between plank and half-shoulderstand and sunk into savasana. It’s a shame, because I think he was saying some great stuff, but I was just gone. No yoga nidra for me–just sleep.

***

We have a beautiful, beautiful evening in Shadowbrook with singer/songwriter Linda Worster. We spread out blankets and cushions and form a massage clinic, a 10- to 12-minutes massage per person, as Linda sings intimate, melodic songs to us. Candles at the altar, Shiva at the helm, Linda on guitar, and a whole lotta TLC all over the room. I massage H. and M. and then they work on me, me sinking into samadhi. These people, these complete strangers, now together in a deep sense of respect and love, nearly crying at the beauty of the moment.

After the massages, we set up the backjacks for a concert, laughing at Linda’s songs about her cat and travel buddies. When the songs get slow, Megha disappears to the back of the room to dance, eloquent lyrical dancing. I can’t stop myself. I must dance too! Must dance! Soft lyrical music. Dance! Slowly, I step into Stage 3 movement, a combination of both wonderful music and wonderful company. How much more can I ask for? Santosha.

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