13 students. No newbies. Actually, I had five other teachers in attendance. I can't decide which is harder: teaching new students or teaching teachers.
Today challenged me for a myriad of reasons. I never teach well during my period, and today was day one. (Pardon the TMI, but it's my frickin' blog.) I frequently complain about the meager socializing I do in my new small-town home, but once a month I just don't want to deal with other people. Sundays can be especially difficult, because having to teach means tearing myself away from the Sunday Times. (I read the New York Times/You're not gonna change my fucking mind/It's the paper of record/Until you do better/Don't waste my fucking time thank you Men's Recovery Project) I also got some not-so-pleasant news from my parents shortly before class. Having to teach to a couple of people who may change the course of your working life became a touch more difficult under those circumstances. Sorry for writing in cipher there, but that's the best I'm willing to do right now.
Oh, and I couldn't log into our computer when I got to the studio. I actually recall saying, "I really hope this isn't an omen for my class."
All of that said, it still felt like a strong class. In the end I want students to enjoy themselves, and I think they did. I think students respect me and trust me. That means a lot. I don't want anyone going through the motions. I sincerely want our students, even though it's the same 26 postures every class, to experience something different each time they visit our studio. Perhaps one day they merely carry that slow, steady breath for the whole 90 minutes, or perhaps they feel another millimeter of expansion in a particularly challenging posture. It's all something.
I stopped for a short spell to encourage the class to find themselves in the mirror and not shy away from their own reflections. Some people genuinely fear or dislike looking at themselves so directly. I gently reminded the class that looking forward means their practices have the chance to move forward. Perhaps those in the back could use a student in front as a focal point, if the reflection still scared them. It's times like these that I wish I could share, directly, with students how much progress I've made in my own practice. But it's not about me.
So I'll say I rose to my own challenge. Next challenge: how to manage said studio without losing my mind, or my temper. That deserves its own entry, I think.