Starting at Square One / by Hope Amico

I've been teaching for less than a year. When the studio offers me a class, if I can fit it in my schedule I tend to take it. I want the experience and I like teaching. So though I love teaching the gentle classes and restorative classes, I also like my moderate classes for sneaking in some of the same foundation lessons.  All the classes at the studio where I teach are all-levels, and sometimes people take a class because it fits with their schedule. So sometimes I have new people in my moderate level class and sometimes I have experience yogis who want to slow down in my gentle class. I like the challenge and the interest it adds to have variety.  Even if every one of my students was brand new, each person brings their own abilities and limitations.

So my favorite class to teach is the Beginners Workshop. I get to share my enthusiasm for props and alignment and options with new students. I hopefully make group classes seem less intimidating. And I get to talk about why we practice. It is dreamy.

Sometimes my friends express interest in attending classes.  Sometimes they say things like they are not flexible or rich or thin enough for yoga and I am surprised. Because I am lucky to teach at astudio with a group of teachers who don't believe you have to be thin or flexible or rich. You might never touch your toes. But I understand the desire for flexibility.  I am lucky to teach at a studio that offers worktrade for students, which is how I got started. And I am lucky to have had teachers in my training that addressed the differences in our bodies, that strong people and flexible people and thin people have limitations in their bodies too. That we all have abilities and restrictions. And I am lucky to have found a training to offer lots and lots of idea for options for working with different bodies.

I want to tell my friends all this when they say they are not ready to come to class for one reason or another but I also don't want to overwhelm them. I also think people will come when they are ready.  Also i never take it personally when a friend has no interest in coming. But it is great to have friends in class.  So on the off chance you were thinking about coming to a class but you thought you have the wrong kind of body, or that you can't do it, I want to say get in touch. The first and most important step is to breathe. Everything else is fancy footwork.