“Now we begin the practice of Yoga.” – (Yoga Sutra 1.1)
I arrived at my first class in my new teaching space with 30 minutes of prep work to do and 15 minutes to do it in. The other 15 minutes had been spent at the breakfast bar in my kitchen repeatedly swiping a credit card through the reader I had just bought at Target that ultimately would never work. I would have to take my chances with manual card entry and nervous fingers.
My fresh cork blocks just delivered that day did make it out of the boxes and onto the shelves, but not out of their shrinkwrap. I forgot to erase the workout for the previous occupant of the room from the dry erase board. I ran about clearing items and cleaning and lighting candles in such a rush that by the time I slid open the pocket door to greet the first three students gathered there, I was a slightly sweaty mess. People kindly ignored that and remarked upon the coziness of the space, a sweet little room that feels like a secret vacation cabin, complete with fireplace. Somebody saw the workout outlined on the dry erase board and jokingly asked if we were doing burpees. Students good-naturedly peeled shrinkwrap off of blocks and agreed to wait until after class for me take my chances with my newly installed credit card app.
Finally, as has happened at the beginning of class hundreds (thousands?) of times over the last 11 years, students stepped onto their mats, lay down, and closed their eyes. I said a quick prayer that the skills I’d cultivated over those years and classes would still be accessible from my current location.
Before I said a word, I paused, and I took a breath, and I looked. And here’s what I saw: everyone was smiling. It is possible I am exaggerating, but that is exactly what it looked like. Faces were lit up in a way I hadn’t exactly experienced (or noticed?) before. Each of these people, so dear to my heart, looked simply happy to be there, and to be with me. And I felt happy to be with them, too.
Ready or not, now had begun.