No, this is not the copy for the front of my holiday greeting cards this year. It is what I felt last week, when I finished teaching my very first yoga class. For those of you who don’t know, I started yoga-teacher training in late September, and I guess it is customary to throw the students into the fire and have them start teaching classes right away. I get it; the only way you learn is by doing, and being the overachiever that I am, I volunteered to go first. Then, being the overconfident person that I am, I agreed to try my class out on my family before I did it in front of my yoga-teacher training peeps.

I kept thinking I would be really uncomfortable teaching my yoga for beginners hour-long session in front of my brother, his wife, and my ten-year-old niece, but once I got to their house and unrolled my yoga mat, it felt as natural as can be. This was not the perfect environment to provide yoga instruction. We had an interruption at the door (which messed up the timing on my musical play-list), a strict bedtime rule for my niece midway through class, and a cat that really liked my yoga mat, but I didn’t let these disturbances deter me in any way.

My brother had never practiced yoga before, and I loved hearing him throughout the class, with comments like, “Ooh, that is a great stretch,” or, “This feels great in my lower back.”

At the end, we bowed together, saying Namaste,” and I explained the Sanskrit and my new simplified definition (you’re awesome, I’m awesome) for namaste as I sat there with a feeling of utter bliss and joy. I had done it! I had taught my first yoga class, and my students were smiling back at me. They stuck with me the whole class, and maybe I hoped I had brought a little peace and well being into their lives. It felt amazing.

The next day I walked into my yoga-teacher training class confident that I could get through my first assignment, but, I have to admit, I was a little more nervous in front of my instructor and classmates, but I delivered the class without any nervous jitters. I found out after I finished that I had most of my breathing cues wrong, but, hey, I know I’ve got a heck of a lot to learn before I get my yoga-teacher training certification.

This time at the end of class, when we bowed in namaste, I got more than a feeling of bliss. An overwhelming sensation washed over me, and I got a little verklempt. It was such an emotional feeling that I could barely get my words out, and I almost started to cry. It was a happy feeling, though, a relief that I had made it through the class and how wonderful it felt to teach others something that I love so much. Bliss and Joy!

I think I’m really gonna dig this yoga-teaching stuff! I’ve never finished a job before where I felt so much bliss and joy!

Joy Image: Billy Frank Alexander