Teaching Recap: September 2019

somerjill_paschimottanasana

September is a month of transition. Many people bid adieu to breezy summer schedules as they return to work and school. The weather cools, and with the autumn equinox, the days shorten. I often feel run down in September (and in March, at the spring equinox) with that shift in daylight and it seemed like the students with whom I worked this month were similarly fatigued and out of sorts.

I never start a class before asking if anyone is working injuries that might affect their practice, or might be helpful for me to know about before I begin moving around the room offering hands-on adjustments. So, as usual, at one of my regular corporate gigs, I asked, “any injuries I should know about this week?” There were a few overlapping responses, but someone clearly raised up, “a broken heart.”

“A broken heart?” I echoed, to make sure I’d heard correctly, but there was no further commentary. I couldn’t tell who’d said it, and thinking back, I can’t even recall if the voice was male or female. I do remember, though, how sincere that statement sounded. I had no sense that the student was making a joke.

I invited the class to come into child’s pose, to huddle into themselves, and breathe. For not the first time, I suggested they let whatever might have happened earlier, and whatever might be happening later, to recede to the background. Tune inward, land on your mat, land in your body, be here now. I felt cut up on behalf of this heartbroken student, and it took me a little while to get my head in the game. I hope I still provided a beneficial experience.

My entreaty to that group at the end of the class was to give themselves a little extra time and space this month, to be patient and compassionate with themselves. Take care of your breath, take care of your heart.

September by the numbers:

  • 39 classes
  • 371 students
  • 43 hours
  • 8 locations

Some select student feedback:

  • We were so excited to see you on the schedule. You’re one of the good ones.
  • That was a great class! It was mental challenge, too. I really had to think about what my body was doing.
  • You’re amazing. I feel like a new person.
  • I squealed because I saw a bumble bee during class!
  • I don’t know what I would have done with myself if I hadn’t had these prenatal yoga classes. I think would have gone out of my mind. They gave me a sense of control, they made me feel strong. They gave me something to look forward to every week.
  • Your voice has been a really important one during my pregnancy. Thank you for creating a safe space. Not everywhere has felt safe, but I’ve always felt good here.
  • We were up all night with the baby. I wasn’t going to come because I felt so low. But I feel so much better now. I’m so glad to be here.
  • I want you to know that I truly carried the goodness of practice with me all day yesterday. It was very [100%].
  • I’m so glad that amazing class lead by amazing you was my entry back to yoga after that hiatus!

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