We’re human, we get nervous. It’s in our nature to feel discomfort while doing new things sometimes. But, greatness rarely comes with ease.
During my first teaching experience, I felt unspeakably nervous. I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest and land on someone’s mat.
Even so, I opened the doors to my friend’s art gallery in downtown Austin. A metal art piece tracing out the word ‘SOUL’ illuminated the entry of the space. An abundance of candles traveled the border of the studio. It was magical.
And I thought I was going to vomit.
As I greeted friends, acquaintances and bright new faces, I remembered the lessons I learned while in teacher training. I took a few expansive breaths into the bellows of my belly, rolled my shoulders open and reminded myself of my purpose of becoming a yoga instructor.
I want to help people. I want to provide the inspiration needed to open your mind far and beyond your limits, teach you to love your body, listen to your heart, and find YOUR true happiness.
After revisiting my intention, I was ready to teach; to create a wonderful experience. Teaching isn’t about you as the teacher, it’s about the students. We must remove ourselves from our ego and our nerves, and become a guiding light.
Before I knew it, the gallery was full.
Prior to teaching, I designed a handful of wide-legged forward folds into the mix. This being my first class, I didn’t realize how chaotic that would become with 24 student’s in a small studio space. When it came time to take this straddle fold, my students froze up. They began to fidget and whisper, and all harmony seemed lost.
I advised the class to take a deep breath and stagger themselves for the pose. I was sweating, bright red and the butterflies were going wild in my belly. But I gained my bearings and said, “Beautiful! We did it! Wide angle forward fold”.
“You mean awkward butt pose!” A student in the front row blurted out.
The entire class broke out into laughter and the tension disappeared. I used this new “awkward butt pose” phrase for the rest of class. The rest is history.
In moments of weakness we find strength. We can’t let our nerves get the best of us, we must acknowledge that they’re only a reminder that we are doing something courageous; something memorable and challenging. In these moments we grow, we dig deep within ourselves to find new light.
I pushed through my nerves, speaking with confidence, and laughing off my mistakes. When all was said and done, the experience was an absolute high.
Zuzu is a California girl currently living and loving, in Austin, TX. If you asked her to explain what she “does” in life, she would probably explain herself in one excited, expansive gapping breath. It’s a task to explain that you’re an artist, adventurist, photographer, event planner, graffiti writer, socialite, and a yoga instructor for a living! Her wild wanderlust soul is sustained by her creativity, love for life and her many travel adventures. Zuzu believes nothing more than, “during our short time here, we should all focus on adding our own brilliant light onto the world”. She recently graduated from the first ever Wanderlust teacher training and is now continuing her beautiful journey along the yogic path of life, and loving every second of it.