I realized a very valuable lesson this week: Preparation Is Key…especially when teaching SUP Yoga. Confession Time: If I have to do something I’m not 100% comfortable doing, I tend to stress out about it before having to do the damn thing. I’ll even lose sleep over it. Once I’ve had a chance to practice and prepare for whatever it is I’m getting ready to do, I’m able to relax. Last week, the To-Do List item that was making me nervous was the SUP Yoga class I was scheduled to teach on Sunday morning at Greenlake.
I’m still really new to this whole yoga-teaching thing. I got a chance to lead a couple rounds of yoga back in June to a group of female wakeboarders, but I still don’t have a yoga class I teach on a regular basis. Since I don’t teach on a regular basis yet, I get super jitter nerves before leading a class. I hear from other yoga teachers, both new and seasoned, these nervous feelings never fully go away. Great.
Thankfully, yoga is something I really love doing and teaching yoga has turned out to be really fun once I get going in the class. It’s the anticipation beforehand that gets me all jacked up. To help cut down on some of this anxiety I was experiencing at the beginning of the week, I made time to go down to Greenlake after work a couple nights in a row, get on my SUP and scout out a location to set up class for Sunday.
The first night I went down there, I practiced setting up my lines in the original spot I had in mind. It wasn’t until I had everything set up when I noticed it wasn’t going to be an ideal location for class. There was too much water traffic going by for the yoga class to be peaceful. After some paddling around, I found a second location that was much more ideal. It wasn’t until I started setting out my lines in the new spot that I realized I’d need to reconfigure the lines in order to make them work for class. My anchor at the end of the line wasn’t hitting the bottom. That would be a problem. This meant I’d have to come back out again.
The next night after work, I reconfigured my lines and paddled right over to the second location I had found the night before to test the set up. It was perfect! I even figured out which way I wanted the students to face during class and spotted where I wanted to anchor my own board for class. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. The nervous feelings started going away and I began to get really excited about teaching class on Sunday. As long as the weather held out, this was going to be a fun class.
With SUP Yoga, there’s so much more than just the yoga. Not only do you have to recreate your classroom each time you teach a class, but there’s plenty of unique variables to deal with that you don’t have to worry about in a studio – making sure the students know how to paddle and can paddle to the class location safely, confirming everyone in class knows how to swim, showing students how to get back on their board in case they fall off during class, the weather, lake traffic, onshore gawkers and the list goes on…
Thanks to my dire need of always wanting to be prepared for any given situation I sign myself up for, especially when it comes to teaching a yoga class, I learned once again this week that preparation is key. Maybe I’m a worrywart. Maybe I’m a bit OCD. Or it could be that I just want all of my students to have a great experience in my class. Whatever the underlining motivator might be, I know when I take the time to prepare ahead for something such as a class like this, it makes the whole experience easier and way more fun.
So how was class on Sunday? It was awesome! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The water was warm. There weren’t a whole lot of people on the lake yet when we got on the water at 9:30AM. Both students who showed up for class were completely new to SUP Yoga, but had paddled before. We paddled out to the location, got set up and did some yoga in the sun. We had so much fun out there, we decided to continue on with the fun and paddle the lake together after class!
Curious about SUP Yoga and are in the Seattle area? I highly recommend signing up for one of Jill’s classes through SUP Yoga Seattle. Jill teaches SUP Yoga classes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 9:30AM on Greenlake all summer long. Click for class details.
Trust me, if you think Final Savasana is relaxing on your mat in a warm studio, you should try it lying on a SUP board in the middle of the lake. There’s nothing quite like it!