Six years ago, on March 17, I taught my first and second official, for paying clients, yoga classes. I had the honor of subbing two classes for one of the senior teachers at the studio where I practiced and trained. Fresh out of the 200-hour training program, I meticulously planned my sequences and assembled a celtic inspired playlist. (It was St. Patrick’s Day after all.) I found a thoughtful quote to set the stage for the practice and was ready to go.
I recall spending a good amount of time worrying about the cues, lights, candles, props, and about 150 other facets of the classes. I was definitely prepared.
Thankfully, a few brave souls attended class. With a good amount of nervous energy and a touch of confidence I took the seat of Teacher. My internal monologue that night was something between, “fake it ’til you make it” and “you can do this”.
The classes were a bit of a blur. Nothing major had gone wrong. The sound system was working, the lights were functional, the cues and flow seemed to make sense, and the students left looking contented. It was a relief to have my first teaching experience completed.
Then I realized I had a problem.
At the start of the evening, there was a staff member at the front desk checking people in for class. This person usually attended the last class of the evening and was supposed to stay, so the studio could be locked up for the evening. Unfortunately, they forgot about or wasn’t informed of this responsibility. So, after the second class started, the staff person locked the door behind them and left. The doors could be unlocked from inside the studio, but I didn’t have a key to lock up for the night.
Thankfully, a fellow teacher training graduate had come to class that night. We collectively freaked out for a few moments, then called everyone we could think of who might have a key. We came up empty. Between St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and Mumford & Sons playing in town, no on could be reached.
Of all the situations I had worried about and planned for, the simple task of leaving the building was not one of them. This still makes me laugh to this day. It’s a wonderful metaphor for life. There is always something outside of your control. So, be prepared, do your best, and know that unexpected things can and will happen.
We finally realized that we could lock the front door and exit through the scarcely used back door, which automatically locked. The biggest challenge I encountered my first time teaching and it wasn’t even covered in teacher training!